Ice Harvesting Was a Big Business in Quincy
While watching the Quincy Fire Department chop chunks of ice away at Moorman Lake recently in preparation for the Polar Plunge, I couldn’t help but think about how life was years ago in Quincy. A year or so ago at the John Wood Mansion Visitor's Center, there was a program put on by retired Appellate Court Judge Bob Cook called "Cut it Out: Ice Harvesting on the Quincy Bay". The Historical Society of Quincy and Adams County sponsored the program.
Have you ever wondered how people, prior to electricity, managed to keep food chilled or frozen? There were no freezers or refrigerators around. What they had were called "Ice Boxes". They kept chunks of ice enclosed to keep it from melting too fast.
In Quincy that ice came from the Mississippi River for the most part. There were companies that would harvest the ice and they would sell it to customers. At one time the ice industry was the ninth largest industry in the United States. My, how times have changed.