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Written by Larry Roeder, Editor
April 16, 2024

            Over the past two decades I've shared information on the ice industry of the area in the late 1800s and early 1900s.  This time I want to focus on the circumstances surrounding the demise of the icehouse in Palm.

Originally built in 1897, and rebuilt after a fire in 1912, the Palm iceh-

ouse of the American Ice Company was located next to a pond created

by a dam built along the Hosensack Creek in Upper Hanover Township.

  The icehouse was 311-ft. long, 90-ft. wide and 42 ft. high.

            In the days before 911 and emergency radio communications it must have been a horrific experience to see a fire begin and grow to proportions beyond belief knowing that help is much more than a phone call away.

            It was Monday, July 17, 1922, when a thunderstorm went through the area around 6 p.m. sending bolts of lightning dangerously to the earth.  One of them is believed to have struck the Palm icehouse of the American Ice Company of Philadelphia.  

            The icehouse was located next to a pond created by a dam built along the

The icehouse was located next to a pond created by an earthen

and log dam built along the Hosensack Creek in Upper Han-

over Township. Located near water and next to the railroad

was a perfect location for the business.

Hosensack Creek in Upper Hanover Township.  It was built in 1897 by the Hancock Ice Company which eventually sold the 311-ft. long, 90-ft. wide and 42 ft. high building to the American Ice Company.  The property also included an adjoining building that housed a steam engine used to power the business.   A tool house stood about 100 feet from the main building.  The facility employed about 150 workers during the winter months and provided year-round employment for 14.

            There was no electricity or refrigeration in the building.  The ice was kept frozen inside the large wooden structure loaded with plenty of sawdust insulation and straw to separate the ice blocks and keep them from freezing into one giant cube.

            Located near water and next to the railroad was a perfect location for the business.

            On that Monday night, the brunt of the storm rested over the village of Palm.  Trees were uprooted and other minor damage resulted there.

            A bolt of lightning was ...



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