The Iceman Cometh...

In the attic is a large chest with ornate designs.  Among the items in the chest is a file folder belonging to Joseph Wakeman Mather, Stephen T. Mather’s father.   The file contains invoices received and paid by Joseph Wakeman Mather.  


Among the invoices are several from Edgar T. Bates for ice.   In June of 1898 for 420 pounds and in July for 625 pounds—all for  a total of $3.24.


Edgar T. Bates was a neighbor of the Mathers, residing on Gracie Street, which is now Brookside Avenue.  In the 1910 census, his occupation is listed as Proprietor-Ice House.


But where did Edgar Bates get his ice?   The answer to that may be in the attic as well.   In a decorated tin box is an 1899 lease agreement between David N. Mather (Joseph Wakeman Mather’s nephew) and Edgar T. Bates leasing a portion of his property  from October to April each year…


“only for said purposes of flowing said land with water as an 

ice pond, for the making of ice…the said Lessor has, and shall 

have a privilege of taking not more than fifty (50) tons of ice 

from the pond after the Lessee has taken all the ice he 

desires to take…”


The annual rent, to be paid on October 1st of each year was $25.00.


Edgar Theodore Bates died in 1923 and is buried in the Mather Cemetery.  David Nelson Mather died in 1926; Joseph Wakeman Mather in 1905.  Both are buried in the Mather Cemetery as well.

Photo and text by Donn Smith

© 2017 by The Mather Homestead Foundation. 

  • Instagram Social Icon
  • Facebook Social Icon

19 Stephen Mather Road, Darien, CT  06820

Mailing address:  PO Box 1054, Darien, CT  06820, 203-202-7602

"He laid the foundation of the National Park Service, defining and establishing the policies under which its areas shall be

developed and conserved unimpaired for future generations. There will never come an end to the good that he has done."            

-Louis C. Cramton, referring to Stephen T. Mather (1867-1930)