ice-machines-geauga-county

What do you know about the Amish of Geauga County, Ohio, the fourth-largest Amish community?

Over 15,000 Amish live here. Yet the settlement kind of gets overlooked, especially with Holmes County so close.

Among the buggies, windmills, and laundry lines of Geauga County, you’ll find something not often seen in other communities: the classic ice vending freezer.

crystal-clear-ice-vending-machine

A friend who recently visited Geauga describes there being “hundreds” of them “all over the place”. He adds:

These ice machines are in about every street. They have fridges but no electricity, so they put their milk etc next to the ice to keep it cold. The ice machines are opened to everyone and the box next to it is for the money.

I believe you can see the box he’s speaking of on the right side of this photo:

ice-vending-station-amish-ohio

The photos today are from contributor ShipshewanaIndiana, who confirms the ice vending stations can be found throughout the settlement.

These two look like they’ve seen many years of service.

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I spent three weeks in Geauga County in 2005. I don’t remember seeing these freezers (I have seen this in the Swiss Amish community of Allen County, Indiana).

Maybe I wasn’t as observant as I should have been back then. I do remember seeing notes on the door for the ice delivery man, though.

ice-machine-amish-geauga-community

Ice prices. You can get a 25-pound block, or cubes.

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Note the helpful reminder: “ICE IS NOT FREE”.

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Another friend, Saloma Furlong, who was raised Amish in the Geauga community, writes:

When I was growing up, we had an old-fashioned “ice box” — the kind that has a wood exterior. An ice man would drop off ice at a particular place in our area, and then everyone would go pick up the ice and bring it back in a buggy. We had a standing order.

Having these machines everywhere must be more convenient than that arrangement.

packaged-ice-ohio-amish-country

Along with the use of ice for cooling, you’ll also see other low technologies in Geauga County.

One is the scooter, which makes me think of Lancaster County…

amish-scooter-geauga-county

…and another is the reel push mower.

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We’ll have a lot more from the Geauga community in an upcoming post.

If for some reason you like to read about the Amish and ice, I’ll direct you to posts on an ice house in New York, harvesting ice in Wisconsin, and an ice kiosk in Indiana.

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