Past Events - 2003 - Ice Harvest

    The 2003 Ice Harvest was held on February 7 at Clear Lake Park in Waseca, MN
    Attending the event were 440 fourth and fifth graders from Waseca Intermediate School, Sacred Heart, Ellendale and New Richland.
    The mild winter and unstable ice conditions made it difficult to plan too far ahead.

    The Ice Harvest could not be held without the following volunteers:

    Scott Roemhildt volunteered to build the second ice ramp needed to accommodate more visitors. Scott also trained and gathered all of the volunteers that staffed the different activities at the park. He also supervised and demonstrated ice harvesting.

    Jeff Huelsnitz, site manager at Farmamerica, is another volunteer essential to the Ice Harvest event. Jeff brought in all the equipment needed from Farmamerica and also demonstrated at the Ice Harvest site.

    WCHS volunteer John Pribble experienced his first Ice Harvest and assisted Jeff cutting ice all day long!

    Harlan Gekeler rallied all his friends on our behalf to join him along with their teams and rigs. The kids learned about horses and hitches and sleds and were given rides around the park.

    LeRoy and Donna Thoreson of Claremont MN. came back for the event. Last year they were gracious enough to be a part of our first Ice Harvest. They returned this year with their mule team and the kids took rides on a bob sled.

    Dave Petersburg, another Gekeler recruit, came to us from the Steele County Historical Society. He brought his horses and rig as well as an ice toboggan and ice tongs for us to use.

    Brian Menze came back to the Ice Harvest. He also helped out last year. Brian showed the kids how to use a two-man saw to cut wood for the outdoor cooking fire. Then the kids hauled the wood over to the camp kitchen where Brian’s sister Pam Rosen was cooking a pot of stew over an open fire. Pam also brought along her traveling log cabin! Pam demonstrated cooking techniques and also talked to the kids about the different foods eaten back in the 1800s.

    Bob Kugath, Marita and Randy Wadd donated dried oak for the fire.

    Early morning and take down assistance came from Bob Busse and Larry Born, who provided us with ice tongs,saws, nets and a heated portable fish house!

    Mike Conners from the Waseca Lakes Association lent his hand setting up and taking down.

    Jolene Gunderman, Sleigh and Cutter Committee member sent over the portable toilet and Mert Schwarz delivered and set up the facilities.

    Mark Bartelt and crew provided us with the large logs needed for the wood cutters and fencing for around the iceholes.

    Teachers and kids from New Richland, Ellendale,Sacred Heart and Waseca Intermediate Schools came to participate in the Ice Harvest. We appreciate the extra effort taken by staff to bring your students to us. We hope the children enjoyed the hands-on learning experience.

    Many thanks to each of you! Men women,children, horses and mules who made this event possible. We are thrilled to sponsor this living history event and we certainly could not do it without your participation.