If it stays cold enough, the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County is giving visitors the opportunity to help cut and transport ice blocks during Ice Harvest later this month.
The demonstrations on Timber Lake on Kline Creek Farm, 1n600 County Farm Road, West Chicago, will offer the chance to learn about old-fashioned refrigeration, including how to properly stack and insulate the ice in the icehouse. That process allowed the blocks to stay frozen for months — without electricity.
Kline Creek Farm employees and volunteers on Timber Lake will demonstrate how farmers scored and cut ice into blocks. They can even lend a hand by using the farm’s large 1890s saws and ice-breaker bars.
“Kline Creek Farm is one of the few places in Chicagoland that cuts and stores ice the old-fashioned way. For many visitors, seeing the labor that was required during the coldest time of year to make sure foods remained chilled through the hottest is a real eye-opener,” said Keith McClow, the manager of Kline Creek Farm, in a press release.
Ice Harvest will take place from 1 to 4 p.m. Jan. 23, 25, 26 and 30 at Kline Creek Farm, an 1890s living-history farm. Registration is not necessary to attend the free programs, but McClow encourages visitors to call the farm the morning of each day at 630-876-5900 to ensure conditions will allow cutting that day.
Kline Creek Farm also will offer smaller ice-cutting demonstrations Feb. 1, weather permitting, at the district’s free Wonders of Winter event from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Mayslake Peabody Estate, 1717 W. 31st St., Oak Brook.
The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County owns and manages 25,000 acres of prairies, woodlands and wetlands. Each year its 60 forest preserves, 145 miles of trails, five education centers and scores of programs welcome more than 4 million visitors. For information, call 630-933-7200 or visit dupageforest.org.