19th century Ti — Ice harvest brings business boom

Maury Thompson
2 min readFeb 18, 2024

You’ve heard of a gold rush.

What about an ice rush?

In the winter of 1890, the Hudson River, south of Fort Edward, did not freeze over.

This left ice dealers in Albany and New York City to look north for supply, prompting a flurry of start-up ventures in the North Country.

“The work of harvesting ice at Ticonderoga has created a business boom there the last few days.” The Morning Star of Glens Falls reported on Feb. 21, 1890. “A resident of that place who was in Glens Falls yesterday informed a reporter that the town is flooded with strangers. All the hotels are filled to their utmost, and many are obliged to secure accommodation at private hotels.”

In other 19th century Ticonderoga news collected from historic newspapers of the region:

  • “Our genial landlord of the Adirondack House is going to Ticonderoga to run a hotel there,” the North Creek correspondent reported in The Morning Star on Jan. 22, 1895. “We wish Mr. and Mrs. Wood much success and are sorry to lose them.”
  • “Better examine your furnace flues and pipes before you start up for the season,” the Ticonderoga Sentinel advises on Sept. 22, 1876. “You may save your operation and lighten the fire insurance company’s burden.”
  • “This is the time for gathering ferns,” the Ticonderoga Sentinel reported on Sept. 22, 1876. “They are just right to preserve. Autumn leaves and ferns tastefully arranged on the walls give a cheerful appearance to the coming season.”
  • “In these dark, starless evenings it would be well for teams or pedestrians to carry lanterns to prevent collisions, as the mud on the streets muffles the sound of the roads,” the Ticonderoga Sentinel reported on Sept. 22, 1876.
  • “The bridge leading to the woolen mill is in a bad condition. Persons riding over it are likely to have their horse’s leg broken,” the Ticonderoga Sentinel reported on Oct. 20, 1876.
  • “Captain Thompson, the great Illusionist, Ventriloquist, Mimic, Vocalist, etc., assisted by those charming little artists, Eve and Maud, will give two of his delightful entertainments at Weed’s Opera House, Monday and Tuesday evenings, January 29th and 30th, for the benefit of Post Alfred Weed, G.A.R.,” the Ticonderoga Sentinel reported on Jan. 26, 1877.

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Maury Thompson

Freelance history writer and documentary film producer from Ticonderoga, NY