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Rehoboth Beach Historical Museum

511 Rehoboth Ave  Rehoboth Beach, Delaware 19971

Old Ice House

During the late nineteenth century, businesses and residents of Rehoboth Beach began using ice to preserve perishable foods and to cool drinks. Ice was cut from Silver Lake during winter months and stored in small, wooden buildings that were heavily insulated with sawdust which would usually be available from May through October. John A. Lingo constructed the first ice house at the location of the Museum in 1912. In 1925 the two-story brick structure, which became known as “the Old Ice House,” was built. In 1927, the building was wired for electricity and this allowed ice manufacturing to begin. This operation ran 24 hours a day and could produce up to 14 tons of ice per day. The business became very successful and manufacturing continued at full capacity until the late 1940s when electric refrigerators became available. Ice from Georgetown was cubed, bagged and sold from the Old Ice House through the 1970s

During a sheriffs’ sale in 1978 William (Butch) McQuay bought the property. In 1982, he opened a liquor store in the building which he operated until his death in 1998. Later, Mrs. McQuay sold the property to the City of Rehoboth Beach. The Rehoboth Beach Historical Society worked with the city to establish a museum in the building. The museum was opened to the public in November 2007. The Society is grateful for continuing support from the City of Rehoboth Beach.

Phone: 302.227.7310