Imagine your house without a refrigerator. Until the mid-1940s, most homes kept their food cool using blocks of ice. Horses pulled ice wagons through the neighborhood streets and alleys. Delivery men used large ice prongs to carry the blocks into the homes, restaurants, and stores throughout the summer months.
Built in 1912 by J. Roy and Huron Free, the Hygeia Ice Company became a major producer of ice, with the nation’s largest storage locker facility. The name Hygeia stood for the ancient goddess of purity and cleanliness. At first known as Hygeia Ice and Coal, it was one of the first businesses on the block and was located on the north side of Parleys Creek where the hotel now stands. Four wells on the property provided water for Hygeia Ice Company and later for Carbo Chemical Company, which produced carbon dioxide for manufacturing dry ice.
The Hygeia company continued to serve the community when Roy Free’s son, General Ray Free, built an ice skating rink and a swimming pool on the site. Look along the north hillside for old bricks or broken pipes buried in the soil of the north bank, remnants of the Hygeia ice plant.