Preserving Peninsula's Past for the Future.

Ice House

Ice was produced during the winter months in the late 1800s after the course of the Cuyahoga River was altered to eliminate the “hook” or loop which is similar to a peninsula of land, thus the name of the village. Blocks of ice were cut from the still waters and hauled to and stored in this building for warm weather consumption by the local ice cream confectionary store and the adjacent cheese factory.

Constructed for storage, it had no windows in the thick double studded walls that were filled with ground bark for insulation.

Mechanical refrigeration was the demise of the ice making. The building was vacant until purchased by the Italian immigrant Genovese family and converted to a residence with a root cellar and outside toilet.

The family prospered and the son, Ernie Genovese, became a prominent lawyer, real estate developer, political figure, and head of the Summit County Health Department. His contemporary and friend, Terry Montaquila, founder of Terry Lumber Co. in Peninsula told Robert L. Hunker that the senior Mr. Genovese loved the fountains of his youth in Italy. To satisfy his need for a fountain, he constructed one in the front lawn fed from a water tank in the attic of the house. This tank was filled by a hand operated pump and also supplied the household water. On Sunday, young Ernie was required to pump the tank full so that Papa could sit by the fountain which ran until the tank was dry. The fountain flowed only on Sundays and special days.

The Parker family purchased the property from Genovese and the children lived there until they sold it to Robert L. Hunker and his sister Doris who restored and modernized it. A designated easement was recorded from State Route 303 (Main Street) to the Ice and Cheese Factory named Parker Court after the Parker family.