April 2015, Jamaica Plain


jp pond  (sonya kovacic)

jp pond (sonya kovacic)

Harvesting and supplying ice was once a big business in the Boston area. In the early/mid 19th century, Frederic Tudor, also known as the Ice King, was responsible for exporting ice to the Caribbean and even to India! The Jamaica Plain Pond became an important area for harvesting ice. Here is an excerpt from a 2007 talk by Charlie Rosenberg for the JP Historical Society.

"By 1880, the Jamaica Pond Ice Company had 22 icehouses on Jamaica Pond with a storage capacity of 30,000 tons. The company supplied ice to customers in Brookline, West Roxbury, Jamaica Plain, South End, Roxbury and Dorchester.  At the peak of the harvesting season the company employed more than 600 men with 75 men being employed during the summer.  The company had a special brewery department with 100 teams of horses that were used to supply ice to 25 breweries in the area."

Take a look at this woodcut from Winslow Homer titled, Skating on Jamaica Pond near Boston.