POTTSTOWN PA – The barn at Pruss Hill Pond in Lower Pottsgrove has an icy past, recalls former Pottstown Borough Council member and current public poet Ronald C. Downie.
Ronald C. Downie
Downie took to Facebook on Wednesday (July 2, 2014) to offer his personal memories of the place, a history that may be totally unknown by newcomers to the township or possibly forgotten by those who have lived here for decades. He wrote:
“I remember the Pruss Hill barn as an ice house back in the era of WW2 (World War II).
Ice harvesters at work (although not in Lower Pottsgrove)
“Then Pruss Hill was considered the North Pole of the area. During the winter the swimming pond froze solid and thick, and was harvested by men using a horse-drawn cutter that separated slabs from the whole.
“These slabs were then horse drawn up and into this barn, where huge amounts of sawdust were used to cover over the slabs as a blanket would to keep the cold in, until later in the year when the ice was sold for distribution.
“For a time I was a lifeguard at the dam working for Elsie Liss, whose family owned the property.”
Downie photo from Facebook; ice harvesters photo from Google Images