The Mysterious Ice Mine in Coudersport, Pennsylvania
“Not all treasure is Silver and Gold”
The history behind the Ice Mine in Coudersport, Pennsylvania, is a story of sought for treasure and mystery. Off the beaten path, it is a wonder to see.
Although not actually a Mine, but around a 34-foot-deep shaft into the Earth, Ice is formed, above ground (and down within), ONLY in the Summer. This large accumulation of ice over the warm months recedes, and all but disappears during the coldest months of winter. It has puzzled scientists since it was first discovered. Not just because it seems impossible for ice to be forming on the hottest days of the year (wide open to the air), but because there is also not any source of water seen anywhere nearby. Where does the Ice come from?
The discovery of the Ice Mine might have been a disappointment for those who first noticed this peculiarity, but today it is believed treasure was found. It all depends on how you look at it. Like the above quote says, ‘Not all treasure is Silver and Gold’. The rare phenomenon of ice formation, and the mystery of the place, offers a value not measured in coins, but in amazement and smiles.
The story goes that back in 1894, Indians visited the area of Coudersport and were seen to possess valuable Silver. Thinking the Indians were mining Silver in the surrounding mountains, a search for their secret Silver Mine went underway. Instead of finding Silver, the hunters found Ice.
There are still stories that maybe Silver remains to be found in the mountains. Not so much from a lost mine, but possible stashes the Indians kept and left. It was realized the Indians traveled and carried the Silver into the area with them. They would then hide a stash of it, and when needed, would return to the spot to get. But some Indians might not have been able to return to their hidden stashes, and so maybe more than Ice can be found in the mountains of Potter County.
My family and I had a chance to visit the Ice Mine recently. The shaft sits right along a side of a mountain. There is an enclosure and to see the Mine is $5. But to experience the mystery is fun and there isn’t another place like it! As the owners of the Ice Mine say, It’s the coolest place around!
And it is. It was around 80 degrees when we visited, and when we walked through the door’s enclosure, just to the other side to see the ‘Ice Mine’ (shaft into the ground), the temperature dropped immediately to downright cold. You feel the freezing air coming up from the Mine and think, ‘OK, I can understand Ice could be formed here’. But then you have to ask, ‘where is the water to make it?’
The most popular theory is the Ice is made from the Moisture in the Air. The numerous crevices that are all around the shaft and that lead back into the center of the Mountain where the Cold Air from Winter has been trapped, allows the winter air to travel into the shaft and up. This mixture of cold with the Moist Summer Air then creates Ice.
Totally N-ICE N-ICE baby!
So, did you ever hear of Ice being created, ABOVE ground, during the Summer heat, without any source of flowing water nearby?
Well now you have…..and if you get chance….. have a visit.
Best of luck with all that you seek! Enjoy Life’s Adventures!