This branch of the Austrian Hesch family is descended from Johann Hesch and his wife Marya (Schlinz) Hesch, who came to America from Oberschlagles, Bohemia with three sons: Paul, Mathias, and Anton. +++Johann & Marya settled in Buffalo County, Wisconsin but moved to Pierz, Mn in about 1885. .+++Mathias settled in Waumandee, Wisconsin and moved to Pierz in 1911. +++Anton never married but farmed with his dad in Agram Township, where he died in 1911.+++And Paul, my great grandfather, settled five miles away, in Buckman, Minnesota. He died there in 1900.

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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Harvesting Ice

When it's really hot outside in July, I can never really convince myself that it'll be cold enough for ice and snow in just 5 months.  On the other hand, when it's freezing in February, I forget how awful a hot day feels.  I imagine other people have the same it must have been tough to get bundled up when it was 20 below outside and go to the lake to cut ice for use in the distant "next summer".  And, what if it was a cool summer?  OR, what if it was terribly hot? The January and February issues of the Pierz Journal mentioned ice often--who was cutting it, who was hauling it and who built a new ice house to keep it cold for the next six to 10 months...

"The saloons, butcher shops, creameries and Kiewel [brewery] put up about 5,500 chunks of ice.  An average 250 pounds to the chunk makes a total of 1,102,000 pounds.  A pint of water weighs a pound and 8 pints makes a gallon. 1,102,000 divided by 8 gives us 137,750 gallons or 4,305 barrels of ice, or perhaps  because ice is the lighter, about 4,300 barrels of water".


A typical ice harvest in West Virginia in 1900 (Google Images)

Here's something I found 4 years after posting this: In a 1913 book called "Household Discoveries: an Encyclopaedia of Practical Recipes and Processes", there's a whole dissertation on how ice was cut and kept for home use, including how to build an efficient ice house and how ice was harvested.  Pretty cool!

1 comment:

  1. What timing! An MPR reporter just recently posted this regarding the same topic.
    thought you might enjoy.