Knowlton's Ice Museum of North America
It is a "one-of-a-kind" museum, the ultimate day trip. If you search for museums about ice harvesting in the US, this is most likely the only result. Ice harvesting was done in the northern US and a large amount of harvesting came from the upper Great Lakes because of the quality of the water. Ice was shipped all over, including to the southern US, Caribbean, India, etc. It was one of the major industries in the US at its peak from the 1800’s to the early 1900’s. Enter into the past when ice was delivered to your door by horse and wagon, this museum has something for everyone - of all ages. A must see when traveling in the Blue Water Area!
The ice museum was developed by Norman. F. (Mickey) Knowlton and taken over by his family who lovingly have and with high standards turned it into a 10,000 square foot display. Displayed are thousands of items used in the cutting, harvesting, storing, selling and use of natural ice. From old ice picks to the horse drawn ice wagons you will see history brought to life. Also view other antique collections including: milk industry, license plates, vehicles, and hundreds of dolls and buggies collected by Knowlton’s wife Agnes. Despite its size and professionalism, it is family run and personal and inviting. It is not a display of a few items left over from the owner of an ice company. It is a vast collection of well preserved and maintained ice equipment. Knowlton was a delivery man for milk and other goods before he went into the ice business. He was an avid collector with pride in his collection. He has restored four of the earliest ice wagons, a Silverwood's milk truck, a Divco Twin Pines milk truck, a model T and other vehicles. The collection contains ice boxes, from the earliest ones to those common in the 40's and 50's. It contains a kitchen of that time period and so many other displays. The ice museum shows short information packed videos with real footage of early ice harvests.
There are photos and news clippings about Port Huron, large displays of interesting facts and pictures, and interactive displays. Using these artifacts and reproductions we provide hands-on experiences and exhibits illustrating the transition from a rural to an industrial culture and economy in America, provoking thought and discussion about history.
So if you want to see a detailed history of ice harvesting and learn about today’s ice industry, this is probably the only museum in the US with displays like this. It is extremely unique.
Self guided and guided tours available and run approximately 1 hour but you are welcome to spend as much time as you like!
Open all year!
Knowlton's Ice Museum will also open its doors by appointment to groups of 10 or more for tours just about any day of the week by calling ahead. To reserve a special group appointment call 810-987-5441.
We would like to lookup your present location so we can provide accurate directions.
Your browser may ask for your permission to determine your location (possibly at the top of this page).
If you agree, we will use your current location as the starting point for directions. If you don't agree, you may enter a starting location when the map is displayed.