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Kettle & Stony Point First Nation History Culture Stories

Ice Story
by Carole Pelletier

“The Bressette family that lived in the big brown house . . . they had . . . thirteen children in that family.  And they would go out in the winter time, [of] course the ice was so nice at that time, it was . . . crystal clear.  It was like, you used to skate on it -- your mom and I used to skate around . . . your grandma Marilyn. We used to skate on that ice out there, it’s just beautiful.

So they would go out with their old, they called it a ‘stone boat’. They take that out with the horses, and then they would go way out, and they would cut with one of those, I think it’s called, a cross cut saw. You know that long kind that goes down into the [wood] . . . and they would cut all these blocks of ice, and they would probably be about maybe eighteen inches, twelve to eighteen inches square.  And they would bring them all in, all cut up, and they would put them in this place  . . . what they would call a[n] ‘ice house’.

In that ice house was a lot of saw dust.  All [of] the floor was saw dust, all around; all in between . . . That’s how they preserved that ice.  And they used to have ‘buzz bees’ and every time they would have a wood buzzing or a woodcutting, they would call it in with a buzz saw.  They would collect all this saw dust, and they would put it in there to keep just to keep the ice from melting.  And it used to amaze me because the tourists used to buy this ice.

Anybody that had a ice box, there was a little place underneath where they put up one cube of ice.  That big square, they put it there and they had a little tray underneath it and then when it would . . . melt.  It would drip down to that tray, and then they would take the tray out, but that’s before you had any electricity.  That’s what they had was those ice boxes.

So they, like I said, it would amaze me when they opened that door to sell some ice!  And this is in the middle of summer where, sweltering, you would go in there.  And all of us kids, as soon as they would open those doors, we would run in! Ya know, climb all over these, because the ice, because they were all different layers, ya know.  And lengths!  They were like a step ladder.  You can just take off the bottom and keep bringing them forward, but this is what they used to do to sell, ya know.  They would sell that ice to the tourists or whoever had a fridge around here.  They would get the ice”.

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