The folks at the Boston City Archives wonder if you can place this horsey, snowy photo. See it larger.
Jamaica pond turn of the century?
Looks like they aren't planning to be on roads and this may be a rental or lesson set up.
From the looks of it, maybe the 1880s?
The terrain and house look familiar - I think I joined an organized bike ride there at some point, or maybe that is the Mass Biologic Lab in the background (pushing it to the late 1890s)?
Looks like it could be near the Jamaica pond.
okay sledding hill
I believe its Jamaica Pond with the old Pinebank Mansion on the bluff in the background.
since there are pines on the banks (all gone now, I think).
Definitely NOT Pinebank.
...prior to harvesting it. There’s a contraption off at the far right that looks like a horse-drawn ice-cutter to me. I’d say Jamaica Pond too, since the Jamaica Plain Ice Company harvested ice there in the 1870’s. The house in the background also looks vaguely like the Perkins Estate,, Pinebank, which was demolished about 10 years ago.
It looks like rather than cutting the ice, they are performing the first step in the process which is removing the snow from the ice prior to scoring it. The Jamaica Plain Historical Society has an article about the whole process.
This photo appears to be rotated clockwise from level by about 12°. [Determined by measuring the edges of the building, and separately, many of the trees. The average vertical slope for the trees closely matches that of the building. Also, the legs of the horses and the midsections of the people standing exhibit slopes of about the same amount (although given their relative size and the obscuring effect of clothing, this data is less clear.]
That would mean that the top of the hill is actually closer to level and the field upon which the people are arrayed is actually level/sloping very gently down to the left.
I don't know if this will help anyone make a better ID, but I figured it was worth sharing.
In any event, it's a beautiful photo. It could certainly serve as a holiday card.
Removing ice from jamacia pond to ship in the bottom of boats to india. Major business for boston before refrigeration.
Woodblock image from the cover story of a 250 year-old issue of The Boston Town Crier (Josiah Gaffin, publisher)
headline: NO JOY FOR COMMUTERS - TOUCH SLEDDING ON (THOROUGHB)RED LINE
Thanks for playing, folks! This is indeed ice harvesting on Jamaica Pond. The date is the late 1890s - we believe it is in 1898.
You can see a photo of the ice being moved to the ice house on an ice shute here and here is the interior of the ice house.
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