Coolbaugh Township Historical Association

Preserving, interpreting and encouraging interest in our history

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Mill Pond #1 Ice House


Saturday, January 28, 2023 • 9 a.m.-noon
Mill Pond #1, Lakeside Drive, Tobyhanna

The recent warm weather has not been good for the ice crop. Most of the ice that had formed on Mill Pond #1 has melted and only just recently started to refreeze.

IF we have sufficient ice on Saturday, January 28, we will start cutting ice around 9 am.

But IF ice conditions are NOT good, we will still be on site to demonstrate our collection of ice harvesting tools and equipment.

Call the ice harvest hotline at 570-894-8205 for the latest information.

BREAKFAST & TOURS: Whatever happens, while you are in Tobyhanna on January 28, please stop by the local VFW for breakfast, and take time to visit the Coolbaugh Township Historical Association Wills Mansion Museum.

7 -11:30 am — VFW Post 509, located at 1917 Goodwin Street in Tobyhanna, less than a mile from the icehouse, will be serving a great and affordable breakfast.

11 a.m.-3 p.m. — The Coolbaugh Township Historical Association (co-sponsor of the ice harvest) will open the historic Wills Mansion Museum. Stop by to see ice harvesting tools and memorabilia and videos, and tour the displays of our local history.

The Wills Mansion Museum is located just over a mile from the icehouse, on Route 611 at the Coolbaugh Township Municipal Complex, 5590 Municipal Drive, Tobyhanna.


We have some new additions to our collection of ice harvesting equipment and relics from the ice industry:

Wayne Wargo from Greentown donated a “Leonard Cleanable” white porcelain icebox, circa 1910, manufactured in Grand Rapids, Mich. Iceboxes were used to keep food chilled before the modern refrigerator, and were cooled with a cake of natural ice like the blocks we cut from Millpond #1.

James Blazys from Waterbury, Conn., donated an ice plow that was used to cut ice in the 1800s before gas powered ice saws were invented. The plows were pulled by a horse and cut a groove in the ice, and were pulled back and forth until the ice was cut 2/3 of the ice thickness, at which time the individual cakes could be spudded off.

We also acquired a circa 1920s gas powered Gifford Wood Ice Saw powered by a 2-cylinder LeRoi engine. Thanks to local old-engine wizards Harry Smith, Mike Fairservice, Dave Fairservice, and Chester Miller, we got the saw operating and hope to use it this year.
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Leonard Cleanable icebox

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Ice plow, 1800s

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Mission Statement

Since its founding in 1993, the Coolbaugh Township Historical Association has pledged itself to preserving, interpreting and encouraging community interest in the unique history of the Coolbaugh Township area to ensure that present and future generations can share in and understand their rich heritage.

Vision Statement

The Coolbaugh Township Historical Association, a nonprofit organization representing Coolbaugh Township residents, is committed to the preservation of township history and that of its residents and the surrounding area and the operation of the Wills Mansion showing every-day local history.

Coolbaugh Township is the owner of the Wills Mansion and maintains the structure. The association envisions becoming the best local history museum and township historic association in Northeastern Pennsylvania. The association will develop a strong educational program on local history.


Coolbaugh Township
Historical Association

Wills Mansion Museum
5590 Municipal Drive
PO Box 244
Tobyhanna, PA 18466

Museum Hours
Open Mondays 10am to Noon
& By Appointment

Call for information
email us


October 15
Tobyhanna United Methodist Church
538 Main St., Tobyhanna, Pa.
Program 3 p.m.
Dinner 4 p.m.