Last Thursday I posted this picture of a two-man cross cut saw, and asked readers to guess what it was used for on Ocracoke Island.
The very first comment by "NJ Reader" got it right. It was used to cut ice. For many years ice was brought to the island in large blocks on the mailboat and on several different freight boats. Those blocks of ice were cut into manageable sizes for use in home ice boxes, in fish houses, and on fishing trawlers. Ocracoke was wired for electricity in 1938, and immediately established an ice plant (where Kitty Hawk Kites is located today).
It took islanders a little while to abandon ice boxes, and to embrace electric refrigerators, but it has now been many decades since anyone on the island has used ice for home refrigeration. Flake ice is now made at the fish house for use by local fishermen.
The ice saw has not been used for decades. It is now part of the collection at the Ocracoke Preservation Society Museum thanks to a generous donation by a part-time resident.
Our latest monthly Newsletter is the story of the Ocracoke Orgy. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news032115.htm.