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Coudersport Ice Mine, Ice Mountain, Coudersport, Potter Co., Pennsylvania, USA

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Ref.1) Potter County Historical Society QUARTERLY BULLETIN # 83 January 1987 Ref.2) F. Scully, PENNSYLVANIA’S "Ice Mine And the Lost Silver" Potter County Historical Society.

Cavern formations within Catskill formation (IX). A shaft opened/discovered in 1887 on the John Dodd Farm, in search of a Silver ore deposit.
Ice Mountain had long been believed to be an area where the local native americans had mined a rich Silver ore. The discovery of this shaft was one attempt at locating this elusive silver deposit. This ledgendary ore body, to date, has never been located. The shaft exhibits a typical example of a coldness trap, called a Glacière.
When the shaft was discovered, the cracks in the rocks were already filled with ice. The miners joked, that they found an ice mine instead of a Silver mine, and so the mine got its name. The cavern has little ice in the winter, but instead the ice grows in the summer . The explanation for this is that the cave is always cold enough to freeze water. In winter all the water is frozen, the cracks in the rock are sealed by the ice, preventing more water from entering. In spring the temperatures rises slowly until it gets at least warm enough, that the ice melt begins again. The amount of ice which forms is dependant on the volume of water allowed to enter the shaft. As a result, the cavern is filled with crystal clear Ice formations in the summer, and relatively free from ice in the winter.

The site had been a major tourist attraction throughout most of the early 20th century, but is now currently closed to visitors. (2004)

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