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.
As can be seen in this photo from 1960, the elevator shaft was a large contraption that extended out across the road and into the pond about 10 feet. Since it crossed the road, the elevator shaft couldn’t stay up all year, it was assembled and disassembled just for the ice harvest. On the day of harvest, one of the first tasks was to assemble the elevator shaft and ice chute or ramp.
The earliest known ice house harvester was Clint Stevens. He had a 100-ton ice house. A small ramp, ice tongs, and man-power was all that was used to move the blocks of ice from the pond to the ice house. From 1902 to 1930, several people worked the ice business. According to newspaper articles in the Boothbay Register, Linwood Davis, Frank Robinson, Henry Moore, and E.L. Porter were among the people who harvested ice.
Sidney Odom purchased the ice pond and ice house in 1930 and later sold the property and business to his brothers, Doug and Harry Odom. In the late forties, Doug and Harry tore down the old 100-ton ice house and built a new ice house more than double in size allowing them to harvest and store over 275 tons of ice each year. The larger size necessitated the use of an elevator shaft with a block and tackle pulley system to haul the blocks of ice from the pond to the ice house. An old state body dual wheeled truck was used to mechanize the pulley system. The truck would move back and forth all day, lifting the loaded platform and lowering the empty platform for the next load.