Before modern refrigerators produced ice, people had to gather ice where it naturally formed -- like from Jamaica Pond. Jamaica Plain Historical Society (JPHS) member Charlie Rosenberg provided a presentation in 2023 about this fascinating industry and the over-sized role it played in Jamaica Plain’s economy. By 1880, the Jamaica Pond Ice Company had 22 icehouses on Jamaica Pond with a storage capacity of 30,000 tons, according to JPHS. It's important to keep in mind that ice was a commodity available only to the very rich and to those who could harvest it themselves. That changed as the ice harvesting industry became increasingly mechanized, and the new technologies allowed more people to enjoy the benefits of ice year-round.