In the small Maine village of South Bristol, a hardy group of volunteers gather each year to harvest naturally frozen ice, in much the same way it has been done since 1826. The annual Ice Harvest brings people from all over the local area and far beyond, to watch the harvest and participate in an historical reenactment of ice harvesting.

All attendees have the option to participate in harvesting ice from Thompson Pond, and people of all ages seem to enjoy sawing through the ice, or prodding it along to the conveyor, so it can be properly stored. Some simply enjoy watching Kenny Lincoln, Thompson Ice House Corporation President, make the first cut as he saws through the ice using original tools and equipment. Once a channel is clear to float the ice along, the fun begins; poking, prodding and floating large ice blocks toward the old ice house, where they enter the building to brave souls who stack the ice safely inside, just as it has been done for 190 years. Add to the fun some grilled hot dogs, hot chocolate, coffee, soup, chili, and baked goods, and it is a day to look forward to each year. Hundreds of people save the Sunday of Washington’s birthday weekend to participate in a little history and preserving a Maine tradition. This year, our 2021 Ice Harvest has been CANCELLED due to the pandemic.

The ice harvested each year is used to make ice cream for an Annual Ice Cream Social.  2021 Annual Ice Cream Social Tentative Date: Saturday, July 3, 2021.    Depending on the COVID-19 Pandemic, please check back to confirm, as we get closer to the date. All are welcome.

The ice blocks are available for use at parties, for fishermen, boaters, campers, hunters and others needing to keep food or drinks cold.

Summer Museum Hours:
July 3 – August 29:  Friday and Saturday: 1:00 – 4:00pm

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The Thompson Ice House • PO Box 216 • South Bristol, ME 04568
Kenneth Lincoln, President • (207) 644-8808 •

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