Ice and the role it plays in Beardstown
When we lived on W 3rd St., besides sliding down the levee on car fenders, just across the levee behind the pump house was what was called the “poop” ditch. Of course, that is my nicer word for it. This was before our sanitation plant was here. All of Beardstown’s waste was pumped out through this ditch into the river. We had such long, hard winters that this ditch froze pretty thick from the top, thick enough to allow the kids to ice skate on it. I tried it but never learned to skate after I fell and tore a big hole in my skirt - so big I had to walk home backwards so the kids couldn’t see it. I never tried it again. This was in the 1930s.
Still, the ice in the bay in the East part of town froze over so thick people would walk out on it, cut a hole in the ice, and would ice fish. I was brave and walked out on it to watch. I have a picture of us on the ice, but it was too cold for me.