Tradition spurs big crowd at Miller’s Mills Ice Harvest

CE-MR-7-Millers Mills7cMiller’s Mills, NY — Families from all over New York drove, snowmobiled and skated their way to the concisely cut checkerboard of ice on Unadilla Lake in Herkimer County for what many call, an absolute wintertime necessity.

The community of residents, grange and church volunteers, teamsters, fire and ambulance personnel and local highway departments welcomed guests to an abundant ice harvest averaging over 14 inches per 200 pound block. Founded in 1790 by Andrew Miller and his six sons who ran a gristmill and sawmill from the sacred headwaters, the kind folks of Herkimer County have upheld the importance and nostalgia of old-time refrigeration and the tools to get the job done.

It’s a true “all hands on deck” seasonal event which originates from scoring the ice, sawing and floating the blocks, sliding the cubes onto the awaiting sleighs and teams of horses, delivering the frozen majesty to the ice house and finally packing and stacking the massive chunks in sawdust.

Kathy Huxtable and Robert “Ice Man” Wheelock, longtime volunteers said, “It’s about keeping the tradition alive and showing young people work can be fun with many hands.” The local dollars and ice also support the Miller’s Mills Grange #581, churches and events such as the always popular ice-cream social and July 20th’s sundae run, aka The Boilermaker “Cool Down Event”.

Nicole Murray from Lewiston, NY, commented, “I wanted my kids to see this and relive some of my childhood memories.”

For more information, contact 315-822-6860 or visit www.millersmillsny.webs.com .

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