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The Times
  • Lack of ice cancels Millers Mills harvest

  • The Millers Mills Ice Harvest scheduled for Sunday has been canceled.

    Members of the Millers Mills Grange were forced to cancel the event due to a lack of ice.

    After checking the pond Monday morning, ice harvest Chairman Dave Huxtable said during a telephone interview the ice did not thicken over the weekend as he hoped it would.

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  • The Millers Mills Ice Harvest scheduled for Sunday has been canceled.
    Members of the Millers Mills Grange were forced to cancel the event due to a lack of ice.
    After checking the pond Monday morning, ice harvest Chairman Dave Huxtable said during a telephone interview the ice did not thicken over the weekend as he hoped it would.
    “This weekend’s weather would have been perfect for the ice harvest, but the ice just isn’t thick enough,” he said. Grange members on Friday were optimistic the weekend’s colder temperatures would result in a thickening of the ice in time for the annual celebration.
    In order for the ice to be properly harvested it must be 10 inches thick, Huxtable said.
    The results of Monday’s check determined the ice was only four inches thick.
    “It’s possible to hold the event with only seven inches, but for safety the public would not have been allowed to walk on to the ice,” said Huxtable. “Four inches does not allow for a proper harvest.”
    He added this is the third time in five years the harvest has fallen victim to mild weather.
    “This is the second year in a row that we have had to cancel the harvest,” said Huxtable. “The winters here aren’t what they used to be. It’s very disappointing to have to cancel again.”
    Ice harvesting has occurred in Millers Mills since its founding by Andrew Miller more than two centuries ago. Then ice was needed to preserve food and to cool farmers’ milk. After electricity arrived in 1941, the community church, and later the Grange, continued harvesting ice to make ice cream for summer socials. Today, the Millers Mills Ice Harvest has become a nationally known community effort to preserve and share a small facet of rural American heritage, as old hand tools are used to saw, separate and load the ice blocks onto horse-drawn sleighs. The only exception is the antique, gas-powered machine used to score the ice the day before.
    Huxtable said the lack of ice will have no effect on the Miller Mills Grange’s Old-fashioned Ice Cream Social, scheduled for the Sunday after the Boilermaker Road Race.
    For information on ice cream social, visit the Milers Mills Grange website at www.millersmillsny.com.

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