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Cedar Hill used the Hudson to keep cool

Other historical notes from the hamlet include the former home of Gov. Martin Glynn along Barent Winnie Road on the right heading to the town park. The structure was built in 1907 as a summer home for the former governor and was also the former Bethlehem Elks Club Lodge. It is now a private residence that holds a flea market on Sundays.

Further down the road, there are two stone lions, which were the main entrance to the J. B. Lyon's estate, which was destroyed by fire.

With its important commercial docks, the Cedar Hill section of town was just as important when the river froze over in the winter maybe even more so.

Ice harvesting was big business in the 19th century, and both Bethlehem and Albany prospered from the blocks of ice cut from the Hudson River each year well into the 20th century.

Bethlehem Historian Susan Leath writes that winter ice quickly turned into summer cash.

The shores of the Hudson River in Bethlehem were lined with icehouses. Some, like George Best's Cedar Hill Ice House were locally owned, and owners shipped their ice to New York City. Others were owned by large companies like the Knickerbocker Ice Company out of NYC," she wrote in a town article on subject. "In 1855 Hunts Merchant magazine reports that NYC required 285,000 tons of ice, Albany stored up 20,000 tons.

These figures were only to grow, before a steady decline in the 1920s."

The ice was used for both consumption and food storage and harvesting was practiced on a small scale by early settlers and colonists, but blossomed into a multi-million dollar industry in the mid and late 1800s before dying out in the 1920s, according to Leath.

Best's home is still off of Berent Winnie Road near the park on the right. He was a lumberman from Saratoga who died in 1918. His widow sold his operation to another ice man named Charles F. Schifferdicker.

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