Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Ice Harvesting in Hudson

It is fairly well known that ice used to be harvested on the Hudson River. This photograph, from the New York State Archives, shows ice harvesting at Stuyvesant Landing in 1912.

It is also fairly well known that people used to go ice skating on Underhill Pond. This photograph showing people skating (and walking) on the frozen pond was taken in 1910, when the water body was known as Lake Underhill.

A lesser know fact is that ice was also harvested from Underhill Pond. Jack Connor told Gossips recently that in August 2010, when an old dumped fuel tank was discovered in the vicinity of Montgomery C. Smith School, he did title research, as city attorney, on the land in that part of the city and discovered that the land around Underhill Pond, now owned by the City of Hudson, was previously owned by "an ice company." That ice company was possibly New York & Hudson Ice Company, listed in the 1912 Hudson city directory as located down the hill at 39-41 Mill Street. The City of Hudson took ownership of the land in the late 1930s or early '40s, when refrigerators were replacing iceboxes and the demand for ice declined and the company defaulted on their property taxes.

Connor thinks the ice was probably hauled in wagons up the slope to Sixth Street. Not long ago, this wagon wheel with a broken spoke was pulled from the mud at the bottom of the pond. The wheel may have been there since the time when they harvested ice on Underhill Pond.

Photo provided by Jack Connor

1 comment:

  1. Apparently the Clermont Ice Company controlled this pond during the winter. There is a NYS Department of Heath report which investigates how Underhill Pond was getting contaminated with sewage back in 1918. Here's the link http://books.google.com/books?id=_Z4_AQAAMAAJ&pg=PA544&lpg=PA544&dq=underhill+pond+hudson+ny&source=bl&ots=OUctOyq88p&sig=SOV0_1iLzf8ZM80mt1pBIVzDJXc&hl=en&sa=X&ei=soU4U5iCDqmO2gWJuIDABA&ved=0CCgQ6AEwATgK