What Really Is The Ice House In Lake Superior?
Some call it the Ice House, some call it the Cribs, and some even call it "the old building in the water". So what really is this mysterious old building?
The sunken building that sticks out from Lake Superior near the Lake-walk is actually called Uncle Harvey's Mausoleum. According to Zenith City's archives, the building belonged to Harvey Whitney and was built in the winter of 1919.
The website also said the building was used as a sand and gravel hopper before being abandoned in 1922.
The hopper operated by taking sand from the Apostle Islands and gravel from Grand Marais, which was loaded from the scow Limit using steam-powered clam-shell cranes. A conveyor belt then carried the sand and gravel to shore where it was sent through a tunnel into trucks. (The tunnel was the alleged site of the “casino.”)
Apparently there were plans for what was called Lakeshore Park, known today as Leif Erickson Park. The park was designed to stretch from where the Rose Garden currently is all the way to the corner of the Lake. There were also planned tennis courts, and baseball and football field planned in the park, but plans clearly fell through and changed.
I grew up on Park Point and always called it the Ice House, because that's what my mom called it when she was growing up. Many people swim out to the abandoned building and jump off of it during the summer. The Saint Louis Rescue Squad also got some footage of a piece of the sunken building.
I started diving into some research after watching a video of Duluth native visiting and never knew what the building was used for either. Definitely some interesting knowledge about a building that people see all the time, but no one seems to know why it's there (all my family members always had a different story).