Ice Plant

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 Ice Department

In addition to pumping water and generating electricity, Grand Island Utilities also supplied ice to it's citizens. Between 1920 and 1956, Grand Island Utilities was known as the Grand Island Water, Ice and Electric Department. In the spring of 1920, voters approved a $50,000 bond issue to build the new ice plant adjacent to the Pine Street Station. Before refrigerators were in use in homes, people had to use ice to keep perishables cold. In the early days, ice was cut from ponds in the winter time, and stored in ice houses for use later in the year.

Eventually, refrigeration was invented and gained wide-spread use on an industrial scale. Refrigeration for home use as we know it now was either not existent or very expensive. In January 1921 the city delivered it's first ice to customers via the artificial ice plant. Demand for ice peaked in 1945 to over 8,200 tons a year. By the time the ice plant closed in 1956 ice production was down to 2,000 tons a year. The building was razed shortly thereafter.