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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

Jim Kershner’s this day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago

About 150 Spokane men were hard at work doing something that sounds odd to modern ears: harvesting ice.

They had fanned out to ponds and lakes from Thorp to Spokane, cutting blocks of ice to be used in the upcoming year for the refrigerated cars of the Northern Pacific Railway.

It was a good year, apparently, for ice.

“The ice is now in good condition for harvesting,” said the North Dakota man who had the contract for furnishing 575,000 tons of ice.

“Because of the long cold spell, the quality is much superior to former years, as there was very little snowfall during the cold temperature period. Ice from 12 to 16 inches thick is the most desirable, at Thorp we now are cutting blocks that average 14 inches.”

He noted that the demand for ice for refrigerated shipments was constantly growing, partly because of the increased fruit production throughout the region.

There were 1,100 men, in total, harvesting ice all along the Northern Pacific line from Washington through Montana, North Dakota and Minnesota.

One of the more notable lakes was Loon Lake, near Spokane.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1922: Vladimir I. Lenin proclaimed the establishment of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, which lasted nearly seven decades before dissolving in December 1991.

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