Before the advent of the refrigerator, people kept food from spoiling by placing it in an icebox – a wooden cabinet with shelves for perishables and a large compartment for a block of ice to keep everything cold. Where did this ice come from? It was cut from lakes and ponds in the winter in regions where the temperatures were below freezing for extended periods of time. Ice blocks were cut by farmers for family use and by crews employed by significant commercial concerns. Both occurred at Bantam Lake. The commercial operation was centered on the north shore and involved one of southern New England’s largest ice block storage facilities. The company even had a railroad service making the distribution of ice to distant cities possible.
Peter Vermilyea (HiddeninPlainSightBlog.com) describes the former ice-making operation that once thrived on Bantam Lake before electricity and refrigeration were available. The site is located on the White Memorial Foundation property near Litchfield Town Beach.