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Historical highway markers honor family, ice harvesting

December 25, 2021 GMT

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — New Hampshire has added new historical highway markers, one commemorating a family that first lived in the state nearly 400 years ago, and the other honoring the state’s ice harvesting tradition.

The first marker recognizes the “Hilton Family of Newfields” and is installed near the intersection of Route 85 and Summer Street in the town.

It mentions Edward Hilton, Sr., who settled in the area in the 1630s. His first known residence was near the Hilton Burying Ground, where many of his descendants are buried. It says the oldest surviving inscription is for his grandson, Col. Winthrop Hilton, who was the principal military commander in New Hampshire at the time of his death in 1710.

Another marker has been installed on Route 13 in Brookline near Lake Potanipo, where ice was harvested by the former Fresh Pond Ice Company.

The marker notes that the first ice harvest was shipped to Boston for local distribution in 1892 on Brookline’s newly complete railroad. It said at its peak, the Fresh Pond employed more than 250 people and harvested more than 100,000 tons of ice annually in 13 icehouses.

The advent of electric refrigeration, coupled with a fire that destroyed the icehouses on March 22, 1935, effectively ended commercial ice harvesting there, the marker states.