In the days before electric refrigeration, ice was a valuable commodity. The ice covering ponds and dam impoundments was cut into blocks by machines and hand tools, gathered, and stored in riverside storage houses. The crystal clear ice cakes were delivered to homes and businesses in the summer. Properly protected by sawdust, a block of ice could last all year. In one interesting example, patrons at Newmarket’s Star Theater were kept cool during summer shows with air that had been cooled in the Turcott Hardware ice house located below the theater.