At one time Silver Lake was known as Jones River Pond. It is said that ice merchants thought that ice from “Silver Lake” would taste cooler and cleaner to consumers, so they decided to change the name of the pond.
The Dorchester Ice Company had five huge ice houses on the shore of Silver Lake for a number of years, until a spark from a passing freight train started a fire. All five buildings burned.
The ice houses extended from the street to the shores of the lake. When the ice became sufficiently thick in mid-winter, the harvest would begin. Large plots were marked off with horse plows and channels were cut up to the shore. The ice was then sawed into blocks and floated up to an endless chain belt, where the cakes were lifted up and stored in the buildings until needed.
During the hot summer months fifteen or twenty freight cars sat on rails next to the site, waiting to be loaded with ice and taken to Boston. The harvest and distribution of ice from the lake provided work for many in the area during busy periods of the year.
Respectfully Submitted, Sue Basile