February 5, 1890 In the Punxsutawney Spirit:
“Last Sunday was Ground Hog’s day, and the little beast failed to see his shadow. That dispels what little hope we had entertained that the ice man and the lumber man might get out of the woods.”
It has been a traditional name associated with those that trek to Gobblers Knob on Groundhog Day ever since.
The ice man at the turn of the century was an important businessman in the communities. He would cut ice off the frozen streams, lakes and ponds to store for use in ice boxes throughout the year. The longer the cold winter the more inventory. The ice man was always interested in six more weeks of winter weather.
The nickname “Iceman” has been passed on as Inner Circle Members retired or took a new title.
I became a member of the Inner Circle in 1988 and was given the name “Iceman of the Inner Circle”. Jim Means had the title and it was given to me since he had become the President of the club. Jim became a member of the club in the early 50’s and his father was a member before he was. That covers over half a century of the title. And it was mentioned in the local Newspaper in 1890.