Ice Harvesting Plow

by Marcus Jeffrey

While chipping the ice away from my windshield yesterday morning, I was reminded of this region’s ice-harvesting industry. Blocks of ice would be carved from the lakes, and placed in ice-boxes (think “wooden fridge”) to keep food fresh.

Scoring the ice with a horse-drawn plow was one of the first stages in the ice-cutting process. In the first image, two men, one guiding the horse, the other guiding the plow, mark out the ice on Shoal Lake. The second image shows just such a plow from the Museum’s collection.

 

Did you know?

In 1870 the Wolseley Expedition went through this area on route to the Red River Valley. Major General Garnet Wolseley got impatient and set out to cross the lake in a storm.  He got lost on the Lake of the Woods for two whole days!

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