Boat house and ice houses, Lake Quannapowitt, circa 1906

  • Boat house and ice houses, Lake Quannapowitt, circa 1906
  • "Ice harvesting on both Lake Quannapowitt and Crystal Lake was a large part of Wakefield's winter scene, starting in the mid-1800s and continuing until the 1940s. According to a lecture given by Town Historian Ruth Woodbury in 1957, there were some three dozen ice houses operating at one time: the 24-ice house Boston Ice Company on the northwest shore of Lake Quannapowitt the People's Ice Company on Hall Park the Whipple-Morrill on North Avenue, east of the Hartshorne House Morrill-Atwood on Spaulding Street Nichols Ice Company on the site of the Col. Connelly Park and three on Crystal Lake. The Morrill-Atwood Ice House, next to the Wiley Boathouse on Spaulding Street, began harvesting ice in the 1870s. Owner John G. Morrill built a storage facility around 1878 before joining forces with Boston hotel owner J. Reed Whipple in 1890. Together they purchased a portion of the Hartshorne Meadow (now Veterans Field) and erected ice houses to supply ice not only to Whipple's three hotels: the Parker House, Young's, and the Touraine, but to other large users in Boston. Whipple sold his shares in 1897 to Frank H. Atwood who was by then a partner in Morrill's ice house on Spaulding Street. Morrill-Atwood sold ice locally while Whipple-Morrill exported their ice to other locations. Atwood remained as the owner of both ice houses following John Morrill's death in 1904. In 1919, Atwood left the wholesale business and sold the Hartshorne Meadow ice-houses to the Porter-Milton Company. The buildings were destroyed by fire in September 1929, and the site was subsequently purchased by the Town. The Morrill-Atwood Ice house was sold to Albert S. Anderson in 1926. In April 1945, the Metropolitan Ice Company of Somerville purchased the property, never intending to harvest ice, but to continue the electric ice manufacturing business started in 1932 by Anderson. Just months after its purchase, Metropolitan Ice Company tore down two of the original buildings, and the final part of the original building was razed in 1960." -- Text from calendar by Jayne M. D'Onofrio.
  • Image from the Wakefield Municipal Gas and Light Department annual calendar, 2005
  • ca. 1906
  • [Wakefield, Mass.] : Wakefield Municipal Gas & Light Department


“Boat house and ice houses, Lake Quannapowitt, circa 1906,” Lucius Beebe Memorial Library, Wakefield, Mass., accessed May 7, 2021,



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