On This Date In Twin Cities History - October 23, 1885

On this date in 1885, the St. Paul Daily Globe reports that a committee of the St. Paul Chamber of Commerce canvassed the citizens of St. Paul to seek their opinion on “establishing an ice palace and winter carnival in St. Paul this winter.” The article goes on to discuss how the proposed ice palace would be modeled after those built in Montreal. The article states that the “interior of the ice palace resembles a large fair.” The following year, due to a small pox epidemic which suspended the 1886 Montreal Festival, St. Paul lured Alexander Hutchinson, the designer of Montreal’s ice palaces in 1883, 1884 and 1885, to create Saint Paul’s first ice castle. The castle was completed on February 1, 1886 at a cost of $5,210 with a height of 106 feet.

1886 Winter Carnival Ice Castle ca 1886 (MHS)

1886 Winter Carnival Ice Castle (MHS)