In New Hampshire, they take their winters very seriously. So much that a small town near us, Sutton, has an annual Ice Day, where they (somewhat) reproduce old methods of getting a cold lemonade in July. Last Sunday we woke up a bit early and drove the 25 minutes to Sutton to experience it.
This is put on by the Muster Field Farm Museum there. Volunteers go down to Kezar Lake, which is a short horse ride (or in the case, tractor ride) from the museum, and cut blocks of ice from the lake. They then move the blocks of ice into storage in their ice house for use in the summer time. We plan on going back in the summer to see how they use it.
If you’ve seen Frozen (who hasn’t?), you’ll remember the opening scene, where the residents of the fictional Scandinavian country go up to the mountains to harvest ice. Pretty much the same thing, but with some cheats. They do use horse drawn carts most of the time, but this year they were using a 50 year old tractor. They also used a gas powered saw to make the initial cuts into the lake ice, probably just to save on time. To their credit, they did use hand saws for a lot of the finer work, and used hooks and a lever to pull the heavy blocks out of the lake to swing them to the cart.
We were out there for just over an hour watching it, and loved it. The girls both fell down on the ice (of course), but nothing more than a bit embarrassment was felt. Beautiful day for it, too!