If you forgot to empty it, it filled to overflowing and sometimes, if you did not have a cat, it was possible there would be a drowned mouse in the water. This was before electric refrigerators and there was iceman who delivered ice. (We did not have a refrigerator until 1935.)
There was an iceman in Orleans who delivered ice. He also owned an icehouse on Cedar Pond. When his truck arrived at our house he would grab a large block of ice with his ice tongs and carry it over his shoulder into our house. Underneath the ice he had a thick leather pad to protect his back from the cold and dampness of the ice. A piece of ice cost about 10 cents. He was very skilled with his ice pick. With a few deft strokes of his ice pick he could cut off a piece of ice that would fit in the icebox without further trimming.
Ice was needed about every three days in the warmer weather. At that time there was not a lot of storage of meats and foods, as they did not keep well even in the icebox. In the winter many people did not buy ice. A tin box could be purchased that fit into the kitchen window. The cold outside air was supposed to keep the food from spoiling. However it was not of much use unless the temperature remained below 35°.
My grandmother had a pantry off of the living room that served as a cooler in winter for perishables. Later on when an addition to the house was built and running water installed a pantry off the kitchen was included in the addition as well as a place for a refrigerator.
Ice shrinks during storage. However when the icehouse was full there was a minimum of loss in size of the blocks. The ice usually would last into the late Fall, however the winter of 1934 was so cold that the icehouse was filled and the iceman had a more profitable year.Thus ends the story of cutting ice on Cedar Pond in Orleans.
If you visit Cape Cod now Cedar Pond is still there but after WW-II, the Mid-Cape Highway was built. Where it passed through Orleans it cut across one side of Cedar Pond so that little remains of the pond. The icehouse was torn down long ago. My fondest memories are of the years on Cape Cod with my grandparents.
However, on cold winter days, the memories of cutting ice on Cedar Pond and my early years in Boston when the iceman climbed four flights of stairs to our apartment to deliver ice remain still vivid.