Dedicated to preserving the history and heritage of Park County, Colorado

Large Artifact Shed

In 1903 William Clay Maddox selected a pond at Shawnee and began using it for his ice business. It was later expanded to an area of 365 acres with two ponds and a dam. The ponds were located across from the current Platte Canyon High School. The ice was usually cut once during the winter, in January, when a crew of about 100 men and several horses came from Denver on the Colorado and Southern.

First the ponds were cleared of snow by horse drawn scraper. Once the ice was cleared the horses pulled blades across the surface of the ice to etch guide marks for ice cutters to follow. The ice was cut using gas engine saws. The cut ice was stored under insulating sawdust in the icehouse. When the train arrived the ice was moved into the freight cars using conveyor belts. A typical ice crop yielded as much as 30 train loads or 600 freight cars packed full. The ice was taken to Denver where it could keep iceboxes cool for the warm months. Maddox quit cutting ice in the Shawnee area in 1937 when the train stopped running.