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The largest icehouse in town, other than the State Hospital’s, was erected in 1885, on the south side of Bank Street, between Main Avenue and what is now called Post Office Drive, by John P. Troxell, behind his grocery store on the southeast corner of Main Avenue and Bank Alley.

Home refrigerators did not become common in Weston until after World War II, due to the pre-war Depression years, and the severely limited production of civilian goods in the war years themselves, having diminished sales of appliances of all kinds. Homes without refrigerators depended on iceboxes, insulated cabinets with two (sometimes four) stacked compartments, one (or two) above the other(s). Blocks of manufactured ice were placed in the topmost section(s); the food to be kept cold was stored below.

Such ice was available from a local enterprise, the Polar Ice Company, a subsidiary of the water company and located next to its filtration plant, at the head of Main Avenue (12 South Main). Its trucks had regular routes of service throughout the town; a homemaker signaled for delivery by hanging in her window a cleverly designed chart that indicated, by its orientation, the number of pounds wanted that day.

In the 19th and early 20th centuries, before man-made ice was available, Westonians depended on natural ice harvested locally in the winter from frozen streams and ponds and stored under piles of sawdust in numbers of well-insulated buildings called icehouses. Under ideal conditions, it would last for months; ice cream could be produced for a 4th of July picnic.

Smith, E. C. (2010). History of lewis county, west virginia. Place of publication not identified: Nabu Press.

Gilchrist-Stalnaker, J., & Oldaker, B. R. (2010). Lewis County. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Pub.