Water Mill community Notes, February 20

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In last week’s column I wrote about skating on Mill Pond, making my way around a large portion of the perimeter. While on that outing, I was told that Mill Pond does not freeze completely over very often, as it is this winter.Once upon a time, though, it was the source of ice for the entire area, supplied by the Water Mill Company’s ice house on Mill Pond. It was owned by the Benedict family, which also operated the water-powered grist mill that still stands and is the namesake for our little hamlet. Thank you to Ann Lombardo for sending along the really terrific vintage photos, circa 1905, of the ice harvest (and of ice boating back in the day).

Ann said in the information that accompanies the photo which is part of an exhibit at the Water Mill Museum that can be seen when it reopens in the spring, that a horse would pull a cutting marker across the ice, cutting a line in the ice. This process would be repeated to cut deeper with what was called an ice plow, until the ice was almost cut through. Then, special handsaws were used to finish the job. Ice blocks would be stored in layers of salt hay, and last well into summer.

Break out the dancing shoes! The Parrish Art Museum is hosting a DJ Dance Party for Families on Friday, February 21, from 5 to 7 p.m.

Let loose with free-style dancing and learn the latest hip-hop moves by the A&G Dance Company, with a special performance to original music by Adam Baranello. You can also make your mark on a collaborative graffiti-style mural in the studio.

Attendance at the dance party is free with museum admission; reservations are recommended. Visit www.parrishart.org.

And don’t put those shoes too far back in the closet because another chance for dancing in Water Mill comes our way on Saturday, March 1, when a traditional New England barn dance will be held at the Water Mill Community House. Ted Crane will be the dance caller and music will be by Wild Thistle. Are you new to barn dancing? Just get there at 7:45 p.m. for the introductory lesson. Dancers of all levels of experience are most welcome. Don’t worry if you don’t have a dance partner but do worry about your footwear: soft-soled shoes are a must.

Admission is $14 for adults, $7 for students, and children up to age 16 may attend for free as long as there is an adult with them. For more information, call 725-3103.

On a personal note, a very big happy birthday wish to my husband, whose birthday is Friday, February 21.

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