Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Harvesting ice in Waseca February 15, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 9:06 AM
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ACCORDING TO KLETSCHER family history, my dad and Uncle Mike harvested ice from the Redwood River in Marshall many, many decades ago.

I learned that historical tidbit last year from my Uncle Merlin, who helped me with questions for a family reunion trivia competition. My dad never spoke of this winter work, once common in Minnesota. He died in 2003, Mike in 2001, so I’ll never know anything more about their ice harvesting experience.


Harvesting ice on Clear Lake.

On Wednesday, February 16, anyone interested in learning about this winter activity should head over to Waseca for the 10th annual Ice Harvest from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. at Clear Lake Park.

There visitors will participate in the traditions of ice scoring, cutting, and then storing blocks of harvested ice, in sawdust, in an ice house.

Local students will be there, too, joining in sledding, sleigh rides, snowshoeing, wood cutting and more.

The Waseca County Historical Society, FarmAmerica and AKorn Productions are hosting the event. For more information, contact the WCHS at (507) 835-7700 or go to www.historical.waseca.mn.us.

READERS, IF YOU have stories to share about harvesting ice, submit a comment. I’d like to hear more about this winter activity.

Photo courtesy of the Waseca County Historical Society