Dusting Off the Old Ones was published in 1961 by W. B. Clarke, Miles City, Montana.
An Industry of Yesteryear
Prior to the time our friend "Alec Trissity" moved into the community with his many gadgets, there was one crop in this locality which seldom failed. Now it is not harvested to any extent, although it is still plentiful. We refer to the commodity called "ice". In the early days it was not unusual during the months of January and February to see three or four crews putting up ice for use in the hot weather, which was bound to come in June, July and August. As early as the winter of 1886 and 1887, there was a crop of ten million pounds of ice harvested for local consumption, besides the supply the Northern Pacific had for use on its trains. One of the spots close to town where the ice was cut out of the Yellowstone, was just opposite the mouth of Tongue River. There, in the winter of '86 and '87, Charley Brown, the first iceman that we can remember, put up 1500 tons for use in his own business and 3500 tons for other large users around town such as Fritz & Leonard and W. H. Bullard, who operated breweries, Brandehberg & Van Gasken, who ran a butchershop, Louis Bach, a saloon proprietor, and William MacQueen, the manager of that famous early-day hostelry, the MacQueen House. The slaughterhouse alone had a standing order for 1,000 tons. The Northern Pacific usually put up enough ice for its operations from Fargo west to the coast. Their spot to cut ice was at the Ulmer siding--in case some of our readers are not acquainted with that location, we might add that it is the siding just west of Fort Keogh. The railroad cut and shipped ice by the trainload for all of its stations along the stretch just mentioned, but with the advent of our friend "Alec", all this has been changed, for in these days about the only ice handled in the home is frozen right there in the refrigerator.