"The ice came from this millpond. In the wintertime there would be a group of men that would, had a saw that would saw the ice when it was, oh, probably 12, 18 inches deep. They would actually saw it in pieces. And then people would come and put that in their wagons and take it home and store it. The ice tongs was an ingenious little instrument. A handle was here, and it came around this way, and a handle was here that came around this way. And then as you put this over this piece of ice and picked up on the handles, that made the tong fit into the ice, and that's how they lifted this. The ice pieces would float where they belonged and the people would grab them with their ice tongs and put them in their wagon and take them home. When they got home then they had dug, well, we had an icehouse we called it, and it actually was a lean-to on the side of our garage. But this was a pit, and that was lined with straw, straw bales. And so then the ice you would put down in – you had a pulley up there that so it would lift the ice without having to use your back. (How do you describe a pully?) It helped. And you would take this down into the ice house and then you put another layer of straw over it and then bring the next layer of ice and more straw. And then as you needed it in the summertime, why you'd go out and get in this icehouse and use these tongs and pick up this hunk of ice and pull it up with the pulley and get it to the door and pull it out and put it in little wagons or carts or whatever, and take it to your icebox. And that was your refrigeration. And that would last all summer."

Norma Ehlers - Storing ice for the summer


Other Excerpts from Norma Ehlers' Interview:

My land means so much to me
First grade in country school
Planting potatoes
Canning vegetables
Homemade ice cream!
Treating sicknesses
Storing ice for the summer
Welcoming orphans

Entire Interview with Norma Ehlers