Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Historic New York - Upper Cattaraugus Valley

On the east side of Route 16, south of Yorkshire Corners
    This sign was erected in 1963 and, for more than fifty years, Buffalogen drove past it, probably at least fifty times a year, and never stopped.  Early in July 2014, she stopped to read it.  It is interesting, but doesn't say much more than what she already knew.
    What the sign doesn't mention is the ice industry on Lime Lake, six miles south of where the sign is located.  In 1880 a Buffalo ice company erected an ice house on the lake and began harvesting ice to ship to Buffalo.  For the next forty years, several companies employed hundreds of men, who harvested the ice with huge saws and used horse-drawn sledges to transport the blocks off the frozen lake.  The blocks, isulated with straw, were stored in ice houses along the east shore of the lake before being shipped to Buffalo on cars of the Buffalo, New York & Philadephia Railroad Company, which ran along that side of the lake.  The ice industry fell victim to the advent of refrigeration and ceased to exist in the 1920s.  There is still train traffic on the rail line, which was completed in 1872.

Photo by Buffalogen, 2014