Thompson Icehouse

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Thompson Icehouse
SouthBristolME ThompsonIceHouse 3.jpg
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Location ME 129, South Bristol, Maine
Coordinates 43°52′44″N69°33′38″W / 43.87889°N 69.56056°W / 43.87889; -69.56056 Coordinates: 43°52′44″N69°33′38″W / 43.87889°N 69.56056°W / 43.87889; -69.56056
Area 3 acres (1.2 ha)
Built 1826 (1826)
NRHP reference # 74000179 [1]
Added to NRHP December 31, 1974

The Thomson Icehouse is a historic ice harvesting facility on Maine State Route 129 in South Bristol, Maine. The site has been used for ice harvesting since 1826, and is now a museum, annually using traditional means to harvest and store ice from adjacent Thompson Pond. The property was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. [1] It is believed to be the only active ice harvesting operation in the state.

Maine State Route 129

State Route 129 (SR 129) is part of Maine's system of numbered state highways, located in southern Lincoln. It is one of several routes which "dead-end" on the Atlantic coast at their southern ends. The southern terminus of SR 129 is at Middle Road in South Bristol, a few miles north of Christmas Cove at the tip of South Bristol. The northern terminus is located at U.S. Route 1 Business in Damariscotta, an end it shares with SR 130. It runs for 13.36 miles (21.50 km).

South Bristol, Maine Town in Maine, United States

South Bristol is a town in Lincoln County, Maine, United States. The population was 892 at the 2010 census. A fishing and resort area, South Bristol includes the villages of Walpole and Christmas Cove, the latter at Rutherford Island. The town has three nature preserves.

National Register of Historic Places federal list of historic sites in the United States

The National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) is the United States federal government's official list of districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects deemed worthy of preservation for their historical significance. A property listed in the National Register, or located within a National Register Historic District, may qualify for tax incentives derived from the total value of expenses incurred preserving the property.


Description and history

The Thompson Ice House stands on the east side of SR 129, just south of its junction with McFarlands Cove Road. It is set between the road and Thompsons Pond, a 3-acre (1.2 ha) freshwater pond. The ice house is a single-story wood frame structure, with a gabled main section flanked on its long sides by shed-roof ells. Its exterior walls are unpainted horizontal pine boards, and its interior walls are separated from the outside by a nine-inch gap filled with sawdust for insulation. Large doors on the east and west sides facilitate the movement of large ice cakes into and out of the building. The east (pond-facing) side has a channel which could be used to float the ice cakes into the building and onto conveyors that would move it into the storage area that occupies most of the building. [2]

Although the construction date of the present building is unknown, ice harvesting is known to have been an active business here since 1826, when Asa Thompson began cutting ice from the pond. Ice harvesting was a significant business in Maine during the 19th century, eventually going out of favor with the advent of refrigeration technologies in the 1890s. The business was maintained by successive generations of Thompsons [2] until 1985. In 1987, Herbert Thompson donated the property to a local non-profit, with the proviso that it continue to be operated in the traditional manner as a museum property.

See also

National Register of Historic Places listings in Lincoln County, Maine Wikimedia list article

This is a list of the National Register of Historic Places listings in Lincoln County, Maine.

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  1. 1 2 National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places . National Park Service.
  2. 1 2 Earl G. Shettleworth, Jr.; Frank Beard (1974). "NRHP nomination for Thompson Icehouse". National Park Service . Retrieved 2016-07-04. with photos from 1974