Eaton’s Ice House

Lost Mansfield > Eaton’s Ice House


Eaton’s Ice House
Eaton’s Ice House, c. 1910

This large commercial ice operation on the border of Mansfield and Willimantic was owned by the Eaton’s and later the Brown family.  Ice was harvested during the winter on the adjacent pond and was then stored for use during the summer.  The blocks of ice were packed between insulating layers of straw or sawdust to keep them from melting. During the warmer months, blocks of ice were delivered once or twice weekly to local families for use in their ice box, the precursor of today’s refrigerator.  By the 1940s refrigerators were becoming a common kitchen appliance and ice boxes were nearly obsolete.  With a lack of clientele, the commercial ice business faded away. This ice house was located on Eaton’s pond near the south side of Eastern Connecticut State University’s athletic fields.

Eaton Ice House Today
Eaton’s Pond today. Perhaps it’s due to this year’s drought, but there is little left of Eaton’s Pond but a marshy area filled with reeds. In this photograph, you can see the remains of the pond behind the trees. It’s located near the track on ESCU’s athletic fields.
Eastern Connecticut State Track and Field
The area for track & field events on ECSU’s athletic fields. The remains of Eaton’s Pond are next to this site.

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