Monhegan Museum of Art & History preserves and displays the art and history of Monhegan Island, ME. The exhibits are open to the public from June 24-September 30. Curators work year-round and are available for questions and research.
The Monhegan Store and the Ice Pond have been linked together since the turn of the 20th century. E. L. Porter (c. 1911) sold his ownership of the Ice Pond to Hill Dane in 1919, a year later Hill Dane purchased the Monhegan Store. From that point on the deed of sale for the Ice Pond and Store are closely related.
Ice was sold and delivered to cottages and businesses at the Monhegan Store.
Insulated ice boxes were commonly used in the mid to late 1800s for storing perishable foods. Ice harvested on Monhegan was used by the island’s residents, the fishing industry, the ice cream parlor and the summer boarding houses. When Doug and Harry took over and expanded the operation in the 1940s, ice harvesting and the use of ice boxes was becoming a thing of the past on the mainland, but was alive and well on Monhegan, due to Monhegan not having a central power company and gas was very expensive making gas and electric powered refrigerators cost prohibitive. It wasn’t until the late 1960s that gas prices became more affordable and more gas refrigeration was used. According to Ben Odom, the tenement apartments in Boston were being retrofitted with new electric refrigerators around this time and the islanders took advantage of getting inexpensive second-hand gas refrigerators. At the same time, the ice cutting equipment was starting to fail and profits were low and therefore the ice harvesting industry started to wind down on Monhegan. Around 1972, the final ice harvest was made. In these final years the ice was primarily used by the few boarding houses and as bags of ice for those seeking a cold beverage on a hot day.