Here is a larger ice house than the derelict one I showed you previously on Commerce Street. To the right of the door on the loading dock is a shelf. You can’t see it in the shadow, but above the shelf was a window (now blocked off) through which the blocks of ice were pushed, resting on the shelf until they could be loaded into a wagon and carted off for sale. The location of this ice house was something I found out from going on one of Alexandria’s ghost tours.
So, is this one in operation? I love the concept of an ice house…making money out of water!
The building was an ice house when it was first built, not now. Ice was sold in huge blocks, about 12 inches by 12 inches in the days before refrigeration was invented. People would buy them and put them in their kitchen in a cabinet called an ice box, which is why that is the nickname for a refrigerator. Blocks of ice were also sold to keep deceased bodies from decomposing too quickly in the days before embalming.
People are still making money out of water. Just look in your supermarket right next to the soft drinks. Row after row of bottled water. Party ice is till sold, too. 🙂