The original Stonehenge is a magnificent triumph of 5,000-year-old technology – seriously, how many of our works will be remotely recognizable after five millennia? The point is, antique technology worked then and it can also work now. Case in point: Icehenge, a scaled-down replica of the British prehistoric site whose true purpose is still shrouded in mystery.
Created and located on Wisconsin’s frozen Rock Lake, Icehenge is the result of a collaborative effort from five buddies (Drew McHenry, Kevin Lehner, Quinn Williams, Alec Seamars and Patrick Shields) residing in and around Lake Mills. About four years ago, the guys got into a discussion of ice harvesting – literally, the wintertime cutting and removal of ice blocks used to stock iceboxes in warmer weather.
Having access to some long-disused antique ice-cutting equipment but not finding any instruction manuals included, the guys experimented ice harvesting as it was practiced around the turn of the twentieth century. Perhaps not realizing that ice is heavy (a square foot cube of ice weighs about 66 pounds), the group went out onto frozen Rock Lake and carved out huge chunks of ice weighing well over 400 pounds. Getting the blocks off the lake and into public view wasn’t a simple thing though the chore was made easier thanks to ice’s inherent slipperiness.