Yes, it is true. The Woodmont Apple Farm Icehouse, a true landmark, is gone.
After publishing this post on August 8, I got the following emails from Selectmen of Hollis:
Dear Tracy Lee:
Thank you for sharing this information with me. I am one of the five selectmen who will be discussing this tonight. I am also the person who encouraged my late mother's private foundation to provide the necessary funds to repair and restore the ice house for the benefit of our current residents as well as future generations.
I can not speak for all of the board, but my sense is that there is not a considerable appetite to demolish this historic building - but rather one to repair and restore.
Mark A. LeDoux
Thanks very much for letting me know about this discussion of the Woodmont Orchards Ice House. Many of the comments reflect my own sentiments. I can assure you that the Woodmont Orchard Ice House is not going to be demolished on my watch.
Selectman, Town of Hollis
Thank you for your email. I believe there has been some miscommunication in the newspapers. The intent was never to demolish the Ice House. The intent was to restore or reconstruct an exact replica. Either way it is the intent of the Board of Selectmen to ensure that the Woodmont Orchard Ice house will remain a Hollis Landmark in perpetuity.
Vice Chairman, Board of Selectmen
Town of Hollis
I think it is interesting that David Petry said, "The intent was never to demolish the Ice House."
Today I was saddened to receive the following email:
As you may know (and I am sorry to tell you if you don't know), the ice house has been demolished. I resigned from office in late August because I will be relocating out of state. Before I resigned, I made sure that there was a contractor to repair the ice house and money to pay for it. I also lined up selectmen support for this plan. Immediately after I resigned the town reversed course. A "replica" is being built at a cost of five times the bid for the repairs.
Mark Everett Johnson
The repairs are going to cost FIVE TIMES the bid for repairs? Huh? WHY was this landmark demolished? I find this totally irresponsible, especially in a state where fiscal responsibility has always been a time honoured tradition. Forget for a moment that the building had become a historic landmark in the eyes of the people in the area and that many have chosen to honour this building in paintings and photographs, but what about Yankee Frugality? FIVE TIMES the bid for repairs, money that was already set aside for these repairs. FIVE TIMES as much. If I were a resident of Hollis I would be asking the selectmen WHY?