1945. Jack "Fleegle" Mitchell icing the passenger train in Chapleau. Then the CPR hired schoolboys to work the system because manpower was short due to World War II. We could make 45 cents an hour and worked 14 hour days (some of the time was spent sitting down waiting on the passenger trains to arrive).
The ice was cut on the Chapleau River between the old pump house and Martel's planer, with a five foot gas driven circular saw. The ice was tonged out of the river onto horse drawn sleighs for transportation to be packed in sawdust in the ice house. The ice blocks often measured 36 x 36 x 48 inches. Severe frostbite was a constant hazard for the ice cutters working on the lake. It was not uncommon to suffer 40F below weather, combined with a strog wind chill factor.
One ice house was immediately across main street from the Boston Cafe (Bridgeview Motel). The other was later constructed at the east end of the CPR station platform. Fans moved the warm air across the ice stored in bunkers in the undercarriage of the passenger trains and was forced into the coaches as cooler air, a precursor to modern air conditioning.