Amish Ice Kiosk

Amish Buying Ice

This ice kiosk is located just south of Shipshewana, Indiana. The person who shares it explains that “it’s fully automated, takes bills and dispenses ice in bags or bulk.”

Though some Amish use ice houses, Amish in this northern Indiana community permit home refrigerators and freezers such as those made by companies like Crystal Cold of Arcola, Illinois, or Shipshewana-area E-Z Freeze.

Update: Not all Amish permit home freezers here however. As in other communities English neighbors may provide freezer facilities.

The person who took the photo has a shed on his property with electricity for Amish neighbors to keep freezers inside, and writes “my neighbors probably use less ice than others who have to travel to the nearest storage locker. I’ve gotten ice for neighbors who were deer hunting and needed to preserve the meat, having church, needing ice to make ice cream, needing ice for drinks at a frolic and to keep soda cool at a business open house.”

UPDATE: Another photo of the same kiosk, from the vending side.

Amish Ice Vending

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    16 Comments

    1. Debbie

      Is the ice used for the refrigerator in the house? I thought they used gas powered.

      1. There are actually some here that don’t have home freezers Debbie. See my update above with a little more info on this.

      2. Phyllis Poole

        my experience

        They use electricity too if they can “wheedle” it from a neighbor. When my amish new neighbors ask if they could put their freezer in my barn, I said sure, there’s room. So when he brought it over he said, where can I plug it in? I never got a cent from the use of my electricity. And when I got sick they still bothered me to get a key to my barn to get ice cubes. I had to put a sign on my door, “do not disturb”. They used my pool and never asked when it was ok to come over, or can I pay, OR THANK YOU. I never got a thank you from anything. Now they owe me $60 for a furniture buy which I bartered work but now I am moving and need my money – I am not getting it! My grandson visted me from Tx and they just came unannounced with one of their siblings and family. Christian aren’t they? I can say more about their dog killing my chickens, made it right and bought adult chickens but now says it wasn’t his dog, when I saw his dogs in my driveway and a neighbor saw his dog chasing a black chicken -mine and no other chickens in the neighborhood.
        See amish puppy mills!!online and another account of a girl who left the “faith” because she and her sister was raped by brothers. They finally went to prison because she reported it to the law since the “community” only made them be sorry!
        I had a neighbor in another state who betrayed his wife with another woman and the family had to leave the area and away from her family. She also had a penance. Wouldn’t you think they would have made him stay and do penance to his family and maybe try to change the man? Did Christ banish the sinners to somewhere else or teach them the error of their ways? This is not religion from God, it’s a man made ruled thing. Many who are honest leave because they know it’s a sham. One told me-who stayed, that it was a lifestyle, not a religion. So I had to go pick him up to get an estimate for putting up a fence. He had post setter which he drove to my house tho’. This “religion” is not from God, it’s a man made thing like the Mormon’s Joseph Smith and Mohammed who brought polygamy back and people “bought” it and now say they don’t believe in it and are christian. If they hang on to the other things he said and believe it was from God, they have no right to change it – or they should leave it altogether.
        PLEASE GOD ENLIGHTEN YOUR PEOPLE!

    2. Don

      They use ice in their picnic coolers when they go to flea markets, auctions, grocery stores, etc.

    3. Erin

      That makes sense that they would use the ice for their coolers for farmers markets, picnics, etc. just like I would go to the grocery store to purchase bagged ice. How common are these ice sheds?

    4. Debbie

      In Florida these ice kiosk are very common. The ice is cheaper than the grocery stores or quick stops. We used to take our extra large cooler there to fill with ice for Wednesday night fellowship dinners.

    5. Slightly-handled-Order-man

      ice, ice, baby...

      Although not automated, I recall one childhood vacation to either a Canadian National Park or Ontario Provincial Park where a visit to the ice freezer was quite a social outing, everyone wanted to get cool, a little distant from the lake (funny that these where always in the park fire wood pile).

      Thanks for reminding me I need to make more ice for my water.

    6. Alice Mary

      I’ll keep an eye out for these when I’m in Shipshe next month.

      The itinerary says we’ll hit the flea market…I wonder how much stuff they’ll allow us to take back with us to IL?

      Alice Mary

    7. Just updated this post with a vending-side shot. Erin I’ve never noticed one of these before, though I was never looking for them either.

      1. Erin

        Thanks for the side shot, Erik. Sure would be handy to drive right up and get your ice rather than unload the kids, bring them in to the store, etc. Thanks!

        1. Ice sheds

          Im not sure what they were called back in the 20s but I do remember the excitement and joy when dsd took our model T Ford to get ice to make ice cream He came home with a big dripping block on the bumper! I’m not sure how they made it in summer. In winter it could be gotten from the streams.

    8. Melissa H

      We actually have Ice Kiosks here in central Oklahoma. I had never seen them before in all my travels…so I was very surprised to see a number of them here. I’ve been trying to figure out WHY we have them here, since the closest Amish settlement is nearly 2 hours away.

    9. Alice Mary

      "Cool!" (groan)

      Thanks for that additional shot of the vending side of the kiosk. Wow! I can see these as money makers near campgrounds, fishing holes, picnic groves, or parking lots of sports stadiums where people tailgate. Hmmm…another retirement option! “Twice the ice… for a REAL nice price!”

      Now ya got me thinkin’!

      Any idea just how lucrative these are, Erik?

      Alice Mary

      1. OldKat

        We have one in our community

        About a year ago one of these was installed in our little town. It dispenses filtered water (though it is not spring water)and ice. You bring your own container for both, and the cost is about ½ that of either bottled filtered water or ice.

        We are on a US Highway with a major city to the south and east of us & a fairly popular lake to the north and west of us. So guess what ? Tons of boats and campers travel through almost every weekend to and from the lake. US 36 is the major highway that they use to get there and back, so on weekends the trucks with campers and/or boats line up to buy ice at the kiosk. Even the locals will stop in from time to time to buy ice for Little League, soccer, etc. Being as our kids are long since gone we have little use for extra ice, but I’m glad that it is available if I need it.

      2. I wish I could tell you Alice Mary. Sounds like they do alright. This one is part of a chain, the website is here: icehouseamerica.com.

        1. KimH

          The Ice Houses are a very cool concept.. I wish I had the cash, I’d invest in their franchise.. They’ve got loads & loads of them, all over the south & southeast especially… I’ll have to keep my eyes open for them..