11 responses to Ice Cutting in Amish Iowa (9 Photos)
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    Comment on Equipment (January 25th, 2018 at 09:21)


    Amish farm equipment is very functional, and always repairable. With the help of others, farm tasks become an easier chore.

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    Debbie H
    Comment on Ice Cutting in Amish Iowa (9 Photos) (January 25th, 2018 at 09:44)

    Wow, I don’t think I would like that job. I think I would rely on drying and canning for preservation and learn to like lukewarm.

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    Jeff Baker
    Comment on Good looking ice (January 25th, 2018 at 10:12)

    Good looking ice

    That ice will last through the summer in a well built ice shed. The ice looks very clear.

    I have seen it harvested at a preserved 1890’s living farm in West Chicago, Illinois called Kline Creek Farm. They will be harvesting ice January 26-28th 2018(starting tomorrow)1-4pm each day. They use equipment from the late 1800’s. Real saws,wagons and horses – No gas engines.

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    Alice Mary
    Comment on "Cool" & dangerous (January 25th, 2018 at 13:34)

    "Cool" & dangerous

    In my area (Cary, IL) ice cutting was similarly done on the nearby Fox River in the 1890’s. Photos of the operation are in a history of the area I had a part in writing back in 1993, our centennial year.

    In the past couple of years, I got to see (at least the outside of) an ice house in the Shipshewana, IN area. It resembled a concrete bunker. I have no doubt that if well-stocked (and not TOO hot a summer), the ice would last for months.

    The job certainly has its dangers. I cringe when seeing those hefty horses walking on the ice. I was saddened, though not surprised, at the death of that teenage boy who was cutting ice a few years back. My heart goes out to the family & community!

    Alice Mary

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      Comment on Ice Cutting in Amish Iowa (9 Photos) (January 26th, 2018 at 08:30)

      On the AA Facebook page, a woman named Peggy Woods who is a neighbor to the family of the boy in WI who drowned shared the story. Sounds like the family is still struggling with their loss.


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    Comment on Ice Cutting (January 25th, 2018 at 15:00)

    Ice Cutting

    My mom grew up in the Depression using iceboxes, and often described to me the fun of running down the street begging chips of ice off the wagons from the delivery man. Iceboxes work quite well, so it’s nice to see ice-cutting still in action — although yes, it’s obviously dangerous!

    There used to be, at least, a restaurant in Fort Worth near where my grandmother lived that was built in an old icehouse. The original structure showed the thickness of the walls; I imagine that in Texas, a place like that stored ice for a whole community, it was so large. Very impressive! Those who don’t use powered refrigeration these days still know how to use what for my mom and grandparents was still a common way to live.

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      Comment on Ice Cutting in Amish Iowa (9 Photos) (January 26th, 2018 at 08:37)

      Simpler times, when ice got children excited…I won’t nostalgize the past and say those were necessarily *better* times (for one I am glad for things like modern medicine, vastly reduced poverty and increased lifespans), but there is something to that idea of simple fun.

      Hard to imagine something like that today when kids begin getting trained onto electronic entertainment at age…2? Or whenever it is they get their first tablet anyway 😀

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    Comment on Ice in PA - Mifflin County (January 25th, 2018 at 22:07)

    Ice in PA - Mifflin County

    Last summer I went to a Nebraska Amish farm (auction) and noticed several square stainless steel “buckets”. I was told they were filled with water and when the froze solid the ice was removed and stored in the ice house bunker which was insulated with 16 inch thick Styrofoam panels.

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      Comment on Ice buckets (January 26th, 2018 at 08:39)

      Ice buckets

      Sounds like a good plan B if you’re not able to organize a proper full ice harvest day.

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    Comment on Ice Cutting in Amish Iowa (9 Photos) (January 26th, 2018 at 08:06)

    Great photos! I wish I’d known about this…just 30 minutes from me. I visit this community often.

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      Comment on Ice Cutting in Amish Iowa (9 Photos) (January 26th, 2018 at 08:51)

      Does it seem like a very plain community to you Denise? It had been described in that way in the past, but one reader left a comment several years ago painting a picture of a community which was in between conservative and progressive. An excerpt:


      They have been excluded by most conservative Amish groups because of their openness to technological change. So they are presently stuck somewhere between the Dan/Andy Weaver Amish and the Lancaster (Streng Meidung but technologically progressive) type, lacking the intricate ties of fellowship that link places like Lawrence Co. (PA) and Fredericktown (OH) to many other settlements. But for someone who hangs out in Lancaster County most of the time, a visit to Buchanan County would seem like a step back in time.

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