(Look Back is an occasional series with content and images from the Atlantic County Historical Society.)
In the early to middle 20th century, if people wanted to go ice skating, they traveled to Bargaintown to skate on what was then known as the Mill Pond.
The pond was on Central Avenue near the boundary line that separates Linwood from Bargaintown 1and empties into Great Egg Harbor Bay.
Even though there were other bodies of water that froze over in the winter, for some reason people of all ages wanted to ice skate on Bargaintown Lake/Pond and came from all over the county to enjoy this form of exercise and recreation.
Besides being a recreational area, a business was created known as Ice Harvesting. When the water was frozen hard enough to support horses and equipment, square blocks of ice were removed from the lake and sold to shippers of fresh fish, waterfowl and produce who then shipped it to the large cities, such as Philadelphia and New York City. The system was made easier by the invention of the rotary saw and then by the chain saw.
Today all we have to do is open the refrigerator and take out the ice cube tray and then just remember to refill it. The lake is still an enjoyable sight to view and walk around but since we no longer have enough cold days to freeze the lake, we can't do any Ice Harvesting. It might have been a fun thing to watch. Too bad!
Founded in 1913, the Atlantic County Historical Society has been preserving historical materials in its library and museum since. Every week, Wednesday to Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., it opens its doors to share these collections with anyone who is interested. The society building is at 907 Shore Road in Somers Point. More information is available at www.atlanticcountyhistoricalsocietynj.org and on Facebook, or by calling 609-927-5218.