Sunday, March 9, 2014


It has been a nightmare of a winter but a good one for ice fishing and skating. I see many little huts out on the ice at Lake Loramie.

In the olden days blocks of ice were cut from the lake, stored in ice houses, packed in straw and delivered to households in summer to be put in ice boxes in kitchens. There was a pan under the icebox to catch the melting ice. The tools used for cutting and carrying blocks of ice can be seen at the Lake Heritage Museum when it is open.

In January of 1936 a cottage was moved across the lake on the ice. The ice was 20 inches thick that year. The cottage was owned by Walter Robbins and stood on leased land. When the land was bought by someone else the cottage had to be moved. It looked as if it would have to be hauled all the way around the lake. Instead it was decided to haul it across the lake and a Mr. Schafer and his team of bay horses weighing about 1700 pounds each were chosen for the job. The building was jacked up and skids placed underneath. The temperature was 14 below zero and a terrible wind blew. They pulled the building over a mile of ice and a half mile of frozen ground. They had to stop and rest the horses periodically. It doesn't say in the report how long it took to do this. Ten men went along to help. The building was eventually set on the Bernard Ernst farm near Short's Landing.

At a more recent time several men from Minster took up the sport of curling which they played on the lake near Earl's Island.  I won't explain the sport because most of us have seen it played on TV during the Olympics and besides I don't understand it. Don Oldiges and Louis Hoying Jr. were the co-founders of the local club that averaged 50 members who came from Minster, New Bremen, Ft. Loramie and Maria Stein. Some teams were called The Rolling Stones, Pebble Pushers and Flying Saucers. The purpose was to have fun and the loser bought the beer.