WEAU | Eau Claire, Wisconsin | News, Weather, & Sports

Ice Harvest

Each winter a group of hardy volunteers shrugs off bone-chilling temperatures to cut blocks of ice from a central Wisconsin pond to sell in the summer.
They're keeping alive a tradition that has roots dating to the 1840s, when businessmen would strap ice plows to horses and cut blocks from Wisconsin's frozen waters.
The Junction City Ice Company's annual harvest is now thought to be one of the last large-scale operations of its kind in Wisconsin. Volunteers lifted more than 50 tons of ice from the frozen pond yesterday.
At its peak, the event attracted as many as 100 volunteers who harvested more than 160 tons of ice. Yesterday, about 20 people volunteered.


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