Reminder, Bison Are Wild Animals
Windmill Pasture is home to the bison herd. They have been quite active in recent weeks. Please stay on the trails and use caution in their vicinity. Do not come in close contact with the bison. Allow at least 100 yards between you and the herd. More »
Virtual Tour Icehouse
The icehouse was built of native limestone in 1882. The original doorway was located on the north face of the building. Placing the entrance on the north side of a building denies sunlight from reaching the ice. Also, some icehouses placed the entrance several feet off the ground, because the interior cold air (from the ice) flows downward. Keeping the entrance to the building near the top, would not allow this interior cold air to escape. In the 1887 Spring Hill Ranch lithograph, the original dormer and access door can be seen on the north side in the upper portion of the roofline. The roof has changed over the years, but still visible inside is the original framing for the dormer and doorway.
Over the years the icehouse was adaptively used as a garage and workshop, making it necessary to widen the entrance and move it around to the south side for greater usability and access to sunlight.
The following excerpt was taken from The Good Old Days, Ice Harvest, R.J. McGinnis, F. & W. Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio, pages 121-122.)
Did You Know?
Stephen F. Jones spent the modern equivalent of about $1.9 million building the Spring Hill Ranch complex including the stone fences, but only owned the property for 10 years and occupied the limestone ranch house for 5 1/2 years. Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve