Currier & Ives, Winter in the Country: Getting the Ice, 1864
Jan 23d Friday Have had a hard days work. Heat the
brick oven 4 times. Baked mince & dried apple
pies brown bread cup cake & ginger snaps.
Had quite a fright about Oliver & Fred being
away at tea time was affraid they had got into the
pond where they had been cutting ice for the ice house
found them at Edwins. Mrs S Ames went with me
about 8 Oclock into Edwins
There are few things scarier for a parent than having a child – whatever the age – not come home when expected. Evelina and her sister-in-law Sarah Lothrop Ames had “quite a fright” when their sons, Oliver (3) and Fred Ames, respectively, didn’t return home from a day spent outside, harvesting ice at a family pond. The pond was some distance from the family compound, out of earshot. At tea time, no one was able to report on their whereabouts. The boys might have fallen in.
The worried mothers went out after dark to search for their sons and found them practically next door. They were fine. Oliver and Fred had stopped to call on Oliver’s cousin, Edwin Gilmore, and were presumably unaware that their absence had alarmed anyone. How relieved Evelina and Sarah must have been.
For the young men, the day spent working outdoors in the cold sunshine must have been an invigorating change from their college studies, and for their grandfather, Old Oliver, their participation in the important annual harvest of ice must have been gratifying.