LOST MANSFIELD # 12 – EATON’S ICE HOUSE
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.
This series is made possible by a Capacity Building Grant from The Last Green Valley, Inc.