The program at the LWS Museum last night was quite successful, I’d say. We had right around 20 paying customers, plus a few more OHA board members attend.
Thanks to Jody Behrens from the Village Grind for bringing treats. I love treats! Instead of our usual bottled water, we enjoyed three (count ’em!) kinds of coffee and bumble berry pie. I love pie!
The question and answer session was particularly fun, with lots of interesting questions and fun discussions. During the evening, we managed to get off on the topic of the ice industry in Oswego, and questions brought up some neat information hiding in my brain. Such as ice harvesting was not confined to the Fox River. Granted, Esch Brothers & Rabe had a huge ice harvesting operation just above the Parker mills and dam. But others also harvested ice for sale. There was the Fox River Creamery in Oswego and the local Oswego butcher shop who contracted with the Hopkins family to harvest ice off their limestone quarries along Wolf’s Crossing Road, just outside the village. And there was Charles Smith, whose ice harvesting operation on Waubonsie Creek was conducted for several years after Esch Brothers’ ice business ceased operating in Oswego. In fact, the old dam for the Smith ice operation is one of the structures now being removed by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to make the creek once more a free-flowing stream.
So, all in all, a fun evening of local history…