Thursday, April 12, 2007

Guardian of the Latch

I'm pretty sure the structure above is an old icehouse, possibly used to store produce or dairy products for a neighborhood delivery route. The door, more than a giant's step above the ground, is obviously meant to provide an opening for stuff, as opposed to people entry. The handle is heavy-duty, to make sure that the thick, insulated door stays good and tight.

Just last week, I was walking down this, one of my favorite alleys, and look at who I found. Sitting up on that heavy-duty handle, daring any passerby to try opening it.

That's one ferocious warrior cat-woman ... lion lady ... leopard lass. I think she may belong to a local blogger; I'm about to check it out. Hope I have better luck than I did in asking The Google about icehouses. No, I didn't want to find out about Australian rock groups or Texas beer parlors. Here's what Wikipedia had to offer by way of information; it's a long and honorable history, by the way.

8 comments:

stitchwort said...

Some country mansions over here had ice houses. Before refrigerators, the only way to keep ice was in a special small building, often mainly underground and often in the depths of a shady wood, and often with very thick stone walls. The servants would cut ice in the winter from the river and store it in the ice house.

Now they are mostly little overgrown ruins in the grounds of the sort of houses the National Trust maintains for visitors to wonder at.

Granny J said...

Thanks for the UK history, Ms. Stitchwort! I'm old enough to recall ice boxes (oh, how messy they could be, with all that melt water, etc.), the regular visit of the iceman (for real, not the O'Neill kind) and those wonderful chunks of beautiful, clear ice that the iceman would give the kids to eat. Great in the summer.

Bill B said...

Many of the early settlements in the area had cold rooms much like those described by stitchwort. Little dugouts designed to keep meat, vegetables, and fruit edible longer.

Granny J said...

Thanks for the info, Bill. It's good to be reminded of how people coped (and cope they did) without those things we consider absolute necessities.

hermano said...

Don't forget the big old solid tyred Mac truck that brought the ice to Grampa Mill's and the nifty cardboard card with 5,10, 15, and 20 pounds printed in the corners so the iceman would know how many lbs were required on the day

Hermano

Granny J said...

Dear Bro: how I count on your as the memory for our family! I had totally fogotten those cards, but now I can see them in my mind's eye. Of course,in those days, a proper ice box had an opening to the exterior so that the ice could be loaded directly, without tracking mud into the kitchen.

Omnibus Driver said...

That's a Madame Alexander Wendikins Cowardly Lion doll from their Wizard of Oz collection. Highly collectible!

Granny J said...

That's very curious, OmniBus, considering that the owner of that location is very likely a resale shop owner -- the kind of person one would expect to keep up with collectible data. As for me, I hope that whoever takes/took the creature did it because the guardian is a lovely little thing -- rather than for ill-gotten gains!

 
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