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Several generations ago, the people of Burlington received a year supply of ice for their ice boxes from Lake Champlain. During the harsh winter months, crews of hardy men would cut large chunks of ice from the Lake and haul it to be stored in “The Ice House”, a massive three story building on Battery Street.
The history of The Ice House began in 1808, when John Winan, an early Burlington shipbuilder, built his house on this site. It was also the year that Winan began construction of Lake Champlain’s first steamboat.
The Winan house stood there until fire claimed it in 1868. It was soon rebuilt on the original red rock foundation, for use as an ice house, a function that it served until the early 1900’s when it was converted into a ware house for wholesale and retail operations.
Expansive foot square beams used to support the heavy loads and the two large cupolas on the roof are testaments to the Ice House’s past.