Past Events - 2002 - Ice Harvest

    The Waseca County Historical Society and Farmamerica presented a living history "Ice Harvest" on Clear Lake, February 8, 2002.

    We were joined by 6th grade students from New Richland and Janesville, seniors from the Waseca High School Virtual History Museum, and 6th graders from the Waseca Central Intermediate School.

    The event was brought to life with the encouragement of WCHS Director Margaret Sinn, and coordinated by WCHS's Joan Mooney.

    Last year we teamed up with Farmamerica Program Director, Scott Roemhildt, and visited the elementary schools in Waseca and presented "Winter Transportation." This collaboration celebrated the Waseca Sleigh and Cutter Festival, held annually in February. We feel it is a good opportunity to share our county history with our neighbors.

    We would like to thank everyone who came out on that beautiful 50 degree day to help or to watch all the action. Special thank yous to the following: Teacher Dewey Ferber, and students from New Richland; teacher Gary Von Holton and students from Janesville; Dave and Lisa Zika, teachers from WCIS and students. Ice tongs and ice saws provided by Marty Hoffmeister, Charlena and David Overland of "David's Olde Towne Eatery" (They let us take their antique ice tongs off the wall!), Larry Born, Bob Conners, Paul Krause, and, of course, Vic Johnston. Thank you to Linda Grant for the use of her outdoor fireplace, and to Rod Searle for hauling it. HyVee provided 130 cookies for the kids. LeRoy and Donna Thorsen, Clairmont, brought their mule team and hauled kids and ice around the lake. Harlan Gekeler brought his Belgian horses to pull wagons full of kids as well. Brian Menze, Farmamerica’s ox man manned the two-person saw, supervised and instructed the kids all day. Mark Bartelt, Waseca Parks Director was instrumental, as well as Jeff (Huey) Huelsnitz, Farmamerica Site Manager, and Scott Roemhildt, Farmamerica Program Coordinator, and WCHS Director Margaret Sinn, in pulling off the event. Without cooperation between the Park Board, Farmamerica and the Waseca County Historical Society this event would not have taken place.

    First, the ice was scored, then sawed lengthwise using special ice saws. Then, the ice was chiseled along the remaining score line. With one or two taps with the ice chisel the block of ice was set free to float down the channel to the ramp where the kids pulled them out of the water.