Learn Some Cool Facts About River Ice

Ice Harvesting
Hand saws and cold fingers were the norm when ice was cut from frozen rivers

You can crack the cool science of ice and learn how people harvested and used river ice before refrigerators were available at a free presentation from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Jan. 19 at the Steele Memorial Library at 101 E. Church St. in downtown Elmira.

Jim Pfiffer, executive director of the Friends of the Chemung River Watershed, will make the presentation about the history of river ice harvesting and the marvels of ice.

You will discover how ice cakes were cut from the frozen river and transported to home ice houses and how the cakes were kept from melting during the hottest summers. You will learn why ice floats, why it’s slippery and why it is unlike any other substance on Earth.

After the ice presentation, Pfiffer will lead a walk under the new railroad promenade, which runs from Second Street south to the Water Street near the river. During the walk Pfiffer will present a brief history of the newly refurbished railroad viaduct next to the library, which leads to Mark Twain Riverfront Park overlooking the river.

For more information, contact the Friends of the Chemung River Watershed at 607-846-2242 or riverfriends@stny.rr.com.