Long long ago in a faraway land known as Black Hawk, Colorado, stood an old ice house where people could go ice skating on the adjacent pond if they brought their skates and knew how to find it. The ice house was still full of gunny sacks and sawdust — the insulation that kept the ice cold in old times. It was a wonderful relic of past times, more wonderful to me than the old hotel in Central City or the gingerbread decked houses of 19th century Colorado mining towns. I remembered my dad explaining how ice had been delivered to his family home in Billings, and I could imagine wagons and, later, trucks laden with big blocks of ice and transported down the narrow, winding mountain roads to Black Hawk and Central City back in the day.

I don’t know if it is still there; I doubt it. It was pretty ramshackle back in the 70s. I skated there sometimes — not often enough — during my university life in Boulder which coincided with my first marriage. That marriage (all marriages?) required so much negotiation that we hardly ever did anything.

It was so long ago that the ice house and pond seem more real in my memory than does the relationship I endured at the time. I suppose it just wasn’t in the stars.

P.S. Now, thanks to  curioussteph, I know the name of the “pond” — Lake Pactolus and I have learned that it supplied ice to more than Black Hawk and Central City.


19 thoughts on “Ephemera

  1. Lake Pactolus, I think. Skated there a few times as a kid. Not there anymore that I know of, although now can skate on the lake in Evergreen when its cold enough, which, as you know is less common.

  2. That is such an interesting memory of the days gone by. I remember when we did not have a fridge at home. In summer we kept the butter submerged in cold water

  3. I bet you skated well, too. I was not a good skater. I tried hard, but I never really got it. Never learned to skate backwards and you just can’t do much on ice if you can only go one way! My mother was a big winter sports person and she never understood why I wasn’t!

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