March 29, 2007 The ice was gone by March 31.
March 13, 2008. The ice was gone by March 20.
gone in the part of the pond
visible from the bridge at
Freedom Street by March 20
In 2010, the ice was gone by March 14.
The "Ice-Watch" Has Ended
this little town. The year 1980 marks many changes and it also marks the first year
since 1911 that no records have been kept by employees of the now phased-out
Rockwell plant and its predecessor, Draper Corporation, on the date that the ice has
disappeared from Hopedale Pond.
This year, Hopedale Pond itself almost appears to be making note of the cessation of
such record keeping. Although it is an inanimate object, the Pond has been anything
but cooperative in the ice department. The covering has come and gone all winter and
it has offered little or no ice skating.
Through the past years, the statistics on the departure date of the ice have been kept
by Draper employees including Pat Dillon, George Bacon, George Young, Howard
Fitch, Norman Taylor and Roy Rehbein.
Some of the statistics reveal that the earliest date that no ice could be seen from the
Draper plant at 3:30 PM was March 14, both 1921 and 1953. In 1979, the pond was
free of ice on March 21, while in the year of the great blizzard, 1978, the ice cleared the
pond on April 12. The report which was compiled over the years revealed that 1955
was almost the warmest year with the ice departing on March 15. Sayings about New
England weather prove true by the report which notes that the next year, 1956, was tied
for the coldest year recorded.
The report, which was diligently kept, shows that the pond was clear of ice in the month
of March for 47 of the 68 years that the records were kept. Ice left the pond in the
month of April for a total of 21 years.
Roy Rehbein, a long-time employee of the loom manufacturing firm was the last person
to mark the report, and he noted the date of March 21, 1979 as the date the ice had
left the pond on his last occasion to record the information. To this he added, "This will
likely be the last report from Draper - the end of an era."
Little things like the date upon which ice left the pond were an indication of how the
employees felt about the plant, the looms they made and the town in which they lived.
The observation took only a minute or two, but it was recorded religiously by the record
keepers. Rebhein was obviously correct in his prophecy. "The end of an era" has
arrived. Milford Daily News, February 12, 1980.
Recent "iceout" dates.
To be consistent with the Draper records, which marked the date when no ice could be
seen from the shop at the end of the work day, the dates given are when no ice could
be seen at the lower end of the pond, late in the day. In some of these years, there was
still ice on the West Cove (by Freedom Street, near the Ellis and Gannett homes), and
likely more in other coves further up the pond. It's possible that the Draper records
were recorded when the pond was viewed from an upper floor, but I don't think the
West Cove or any others would be visible, even from there.
1983 - March 13
2004 - March 25
2005 - April 2
2006 - ?
2007 - March 31
2008 - March 20
2009 - March 20
2010 - March 14
2011 - March 20
2012 - February 20 and March 8
2013 - March 23
2014 - April 4
2015 - April 8
2016 - February 26
2017 - February 26, March 8, March 12, and March 29.
2018 - February 23
2019 - March 26
2020 - C. January 14, Ice back, and gone again on February 27.
2021 - March 20
Blue Hill Observatory Weather data, including freeze/thaw dates
for Houghton's Pond since 1886.
the morning of March 20, 2011, but a few hours later
it was gone. For the third time in the past four years,
the ice was gone on the 20th.
seems very early to think the pond won't freeze again. Maybe this
will be a year of two iceouts. I'll only count it as a return of the ice if
it lasts an entire day; not just a little skim in the morning that melts
in a few hours. I'll keep watching. See the pond on February 22.
at about 3:30 pm, March 4,
2012 .Seems like that means
this will be a double iceout year.
Or maybe more.
There was still an ice covering. The temperature at that time
was 58. I went by at six and the ice was gone, but to be
consistent with the Draper standard, since ice was still there
at 3:30, the date of the iceout would be March 8, 2012.
When I took the 5 PM picture on March 17, 2013, there was a skim of
ice floating near the dam. By the afternoon of the 18th, it was gone.
I think what happened was that a bit of ice formed overnight. It
probably would have melted when the temperature went up
into the mid-30s during the day, but a few inches of snow fell
and insulated it enough to keep it from melting. Looks like
another year with the iceout date of March 20.
I thought for sure the ice would be gone by the
20th, but nooo, late in the afternoon there were
still a few little patches floating in the lower end.
I thought it would certainly be gone by the 21st, but, no, late that afternoon, there
was even more ice than the day before. And then came the 22nd. A skim over
most of the pond in the morning, and a little still there late in the afternoon.
when I went by at about nine, there was just a small piece floating at the lower end.
Maybe the wind had kept more ice from forming. By noon it was gone. Photo below
taken on the 23rd.
Click here to see photos of Hopedale Pond in April 2015.
newsletters. Thanks to Dick Volpe for them.
February 26, 2016
As with the early iceout in 2012, the ice returned in 2017. The
picture above was taken on March 6. It had melted by the 8th.
by March 12, 2017, the lower end of the pond was covered with
ice again. As you can read in "Recent 'iceout' dates" below, the
ice was gone, returned, and was gone again four times in 2017.
Above - some ice remaining at the lower end of Hopedale Pond on February 22, 2018.
Several warm days in February 2018 resulted in the ice being gone by the 23rd. As
stated elsewhere on this page, this goes by the old Draper standard of ice not visible
at the lower end of the pond by the late afternoon. Ice can be found in coves for days
after it's gone at the lower end. Once again, with it gone this early, I expect ice to form
again this season.
During the first half of March 2018, we had two heavy snowstorms.
The first dropped about a foot of snow, and the second, on March
13, left us with 26 inches. Each of them left the pond covered with
what I think could be considered slush rather than ice.
Consequently, I'm going to leave the iceout date as February 23
unless the pond actually freezes again. The slush shown in the
picture from the 14th was gone by the end of the afternoon.
March 26, 2019.
There had been a few days of skating and ice fishing in
December 2019 and a bit into January. I hadn't been paying
enough attention to it, but the ice had been gone for several
days by the time I took the picture above.
The second iceout of the winter of 2019-
2020, shown here, was on February 27.
Click here to see more pictures of Hopedale Pond during March
2021. The iceout arrived on the first day of spring this year.