Ice Breakers by Chris LaPorte, 2016 monumental pencil drawing of the Consumers Ice Company "Ice House Gang" on Reeds Lake. The drawing was inspired by a 1910 photograph of the "Ice House Gang," a group of local men who worked for the Consumers Ice Company on Reeds Lake during the summertime.
Consumers Ice Company, which was in operation from 1894 to 1924 on Reeds Lake, was located on what is now the site of the East Grand Rapids Middle School soccer field. Ice was an important product in Grand Rapids and elsewhere in the days before electric refrigeration. As many as 500 men could be employed throughout the year here. Ice was harvested during the coldest winter months, stored in large ice houses and then delivered to homes and businesses all year long.
The drawing is on permanent display in the upper lobby of the EGR Community Center. The purchase and installation of this piece was made possible by the Friends of the East Grand Rapids Library, the East Grand Rapids Community Foundation, Bissell, Inc., Rachel & Martin Stein and Family, the LaPorte/Fox Family, The McAleenan Family, the Turmelle Family, The Dersch Family, and Vos Glass.
Grand Rapids Press article on the installation