Toboggan run at “Ice House Hill”
Posted by eastsidehistorymadison on January 25, 2013
Thanks to Charles “Chuck” Steele, we now have this fantastic photo of the toboggan run and ski jump at “Ice House Hill” circa 1949.
For those who missed growing up with memories of ice houses still in our collective past, “Ice House Hill” is the sledding hill at Olbrich Park. An ice house was located here until beet juice waste discharged into Lake Monona via Starkweather Creek from the U.S. Sugar Company factory made the ice unsaleable and the operation went out of business. The ice house was torn down; the building providing lodging for its workers was moved to the corner of Garrison and Buena Vista and turned into a private home; the hill became the site of this city-sponsored winter entertainment.
According to Chuck Steele, city road-crew workers who would otherwise have no employment in winter were given jobs assembling and operating these recreational structures in city parks. Madison’s East Side was lucky to have such fun provided by the city.