When my dad was a kid they used to cut blocks of ice out of the lake for the icebox and store them in the ice house surrounded by layers of sawdust until summer. He said that they lasted until winter came, which in Northern Minnesota meant five to six months. He still has the ice saw hanging in the garage from when we tore the old ice house down a few years ago. It was hanging on the wall in it. They also had a large enamel pot/crock in a spring which they kept stuff in. I measured the output of the water and it was 39 degrees F about 30 feet from the spring. It was actually on tax forfeit land back when my dad was young, but someone bought it from the state and built a house near their now. There house burned down when my dad was 13, and after they built the new one, they got a real fridge. One of our neighbors put up ice every year until the early eighties when someone gave him a fridge/freezer. They had to wire an outlet for it for them as there were no electrical outlets in the kitchen since they cooked on a wood stove. They didn't have a well and took water directly out of the lake for everything but drinking. They came to our house with big old milk cans and got water out of our outside hose bib for drinking purposes. Went to town once a month in an old 40s Chevy. As far as I know, my dad was the only person that he got along with even remotely and my dad couldn't tell you why since he was always after my dad for fishing in his lake when he was a kid.