December 8, 2005 at 6:03 a.m.
Bowsfield recently completed a display of items in the window at the Lindstrom Antique Mall, where he also has an extensive antique collection in one of the front corner spots.
The window display is highlighted by a 1900s horse-drawn ice saw and wooden blade protector. Bowsfield obtained the ice saw about a year ago and has now decided to offer it for sale along with an impressive collection of other turn-of-the-century ice equipment.
He knows about how the ice saws were used, but knows very little about this specific saw, The Ice King. It was found in the Sunrise area and he knows it was used to cut roughly 24” cubes of ice that were then hauled to the Harris Mill or the Effie Danielson farm in Harris.
From historical records, Bowsfield knows the ice was also used by local customers in their homes, as well as nearby boarding houses and the Harris Hotel.
Along with the saw, Bowsfield’s display includes several tools and other pieces of history that give a glimpse into winter life in the area before the comforts of electricity and other modern inventions.
There are the horseshoes with sharp points on the bottom, designed specifically as ice horsehoes to keep horses’ traction on the ice. An ice shaver that resembles a large fork, used to make the edges of the ice blocks smooth so they could be stacked closer together and reduce melting in the ice house.
Other items are a hand ice saw, two-man ice tongs, boxcar tongs and a horse anchor. Bowsfield picked up the items over the years as a collector, but recalls that several were found in this area. Most were used in the early 1900s.
He enjoys studying each piece and trying to learn what he can about where it has been and who used it. The piece of twine still tied onto a bolt on the ice saw, taking the place of a missing nut, leaves an image with Bowsfield of farmers out in the middle of the ice with a broken-down ice saw, too far away from the barn to go back for a new nut. That small piece of baling twine convinces Bowsfield that the ice saw was used at least through the 1940s when the twine was first used to bale hay.
While the entire collection is up for sale, Bowsfield is still interested in getting more information about the antique ice saw he found in Sunrise. If you have any information, call and leave him a message at the Lindstrom Antique Mall, (651) 257-3340.
Sharing information is the only way to ensure the stories are passed on, Bowsfield said. “If we don’t tell the next generation, the stories are lost. My grandpa isn’t here anymore to tell me his stories. These need to be shared.”
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