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Thin Ice Cancels Tobyhanna Ice Harvest

COOLBAUGH TOWNSHIP — Every year, the ice at Tobyhanna Mill Pond in Coolbaugh Township is harvested.

But this year, only about three inches of water is frozen and that’s not enough to cut.

“We had cut before when there was about five or six inches. Ideally and historically, they always liked 12 inches of ice because that was a good size cake to handle,” said Bill Leonard, ice harvest organizer.

The annual harvest teaches people about the ice industry and shows how the process works.

Bill Leonard is an organizer. He blames temperatures warmer than normal for the lack of ice.

“We had over four inches out there in the beginning of the year but it’s pretty thin out there now,” said Leonard.

Brian Neipert from Tobyhanna loves coming to the ice harvest. He was keeping his fingers crossed the recent cold weather would help.

“Other years, it’s been thicker and cold but we’ve had such a warm winter so far, so. We were hoping to get more ice for the weekend, but it doesn’t look like that,” said Neipert.

Even though the harvest won’t happen, organizers are still encouraging people to come out this weekend and learn a little bit about natural ice.

“We got a bunch of tools in the ice house here and we will be talking about ice harvesting, how it was an important industry to the area in the 1900s so people are welcome to come out,” said Leonard.

Demonstrations at Mill Pond will run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

There will also be ice harvesting displays at the Coolbaugh Township Historical Association.  It will be open from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.


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