Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Kerrville Ice Plant photos

A fellow brought these images by the print shop Friday, and he didn't leave his name.  They look like 4 snapshots taken around the old Ice Plant.  The foundation of the old plant is still there, but the three stories of brick above it are long gone.  I'd never seen photos from this location.  Moving ice around looks like a lot of work.
Click on any image to enlarge
View from Ice Plant looking toward Blue Bonnet Hotel
and Schreiner Company.

Ice Plant from old mill dam.
Note daredevil on third floor window ledge.

Worker hauling ice to car.  Note tongs on far side of worker.

Three young men mugging with a block of ice.
Middle boy has tongs on friend's neck.


  1. Joe,

    Thank you for posting those photos.

    The old Ice Plant was a big part of my life for many years, and I am so grateful to see photos of that grand old beauty.

    I hope more people will come forward and loan or give you photos of the Ice Plant.

    I would so love to see more pictures.

    I still have a pair of those tongs.

    Thank you, thank you, and thank you!

  2. In the 30's, 40's and early 50's, Tivy football players worked at the Ice House during the summer months. Weight training in a practical sense! Also they sold the coldest watermelons in town!

  3. In the third photo it appears that Reiter's Garage had not yet been built.

  4. The blocks of ice that came out of the
    "pulling room" were 300 pounds each.

    Using an ice pick, the 300 pound blocks were chopped into smaller blocks.

    Also, there was an ice crusher on the back dock.

    To crush the ice, a 25 pound block of ice was hoisted up to the top of the crusher and dropped into a very large crushing mechanism.

    It was incredibly dangerous, but oh so much fun to operate.

  5. In the last photo, the boys are sitting on one of the 300 pound blocks of ice.

  6. In the second photo you can see the "red brick building."

    It was three stories tall, and yet it had no stairs. How did workers get to each floor?

  7. In the third photo a coke machine can be seen on the front platform.

    In the early days, the coke machine had no electric cooler. It was just a coke "box."

    The soft drinks were kept cold by filling the coke machine with crushed ice.

    Twice a day the melted ice was drained from the machine and additional crushed ice was added.

    Most of the time there was a mixture of ice and water in the machine.

    When you reached into the coke machine to get a soft drink, you had to stick your hand deep into the ice and water.

    That was the most unbelievably cold mixture that you can imagine. It was so cold that the contents of the glass bottles were almost frozen.

    I loved it!

  8. The third photo shows a worker carrying a
    12 1/2 pound block of ice to the car.

  9. These are great photos!!!

  10. I've looked at these photos many times, and each time I do, something new or different is observed.

    This time while looking at the second photo, I noticed something about the base of the red brick building.

    There is a shadow displayed on the concrete base.

    The shadow appears to be cast from the original wooden framework that existed below the building during its mill days (the framework was built on top of a rock wall).

    Evidently, it still existed when this photo was taken.

  11. Reference photo # 2:

    Look at the side of the red brick building,at the very top (roof line).

    You can see what looks like a large "bump," and a straight vertical line that goes
    from the "bump" to the bottom of the building (passing between the two windows).

    That "bump", and vertical line, were part of the roof's rain gutter.

    The "line" was not an actual line; it was a downspout for the rain gutter.

    If you go to the concrete foundation, that still exists, and look down the side of
    the building, you will see an imprint where the downspout was "pressed" into
    the concrete as the building was being constructed.


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