Ice harvesting goes back hundreds of years in Maine.
There's a lot we take for granted in modern times. Like heat at the touch of a button. Or getting in a car that takes you on a journey in a matter of hours that used to take days in a wagon. Or even simply walking over to your very cold fridge and looking at all that cold-stored food. That wasn't always easy a couple of hundred years ago.
Back then, ice was king. It was almost a luxury for a lot of people. To this day, ice is important in a lot of what we do. From cooling beverages to storing perishables for travel, ice is still important. Some middle schoolers in Readfield got quite the education this week, learning all about how to harvest ice.
It was all about the tools of the trade.
Thanks to some help from the Thompson Ice House Harvest Museum, kids got familiar with how to use the saws, picks, and hard work that it takes to liberate blocks of ice from Maranacook Lake. Much like people from way back, they'll be using this ice for all sorts of school-related projects, all through summer.
According to News Center Maine, it would seem no other school has done such a thing with their students. To be fair, the lake is across the street from Maranacook Middle School, so it is all about location. But still, it's a deep-rooted Maine tradition that these kids are super lucky to learn about in a hands-on fashion.
Heck, if you doubt the importance of ice, Getchell Bros. in Brewer has been in that same location for almost 200 years. Back in the day, they used to harvest ice the old-fashioned way. Today, they rely on modern technology to do the job. But scope this video of ice harvesting on Kenduskeag Stream. Fascinating stuff...