Fruit Cold Storage

In fruit raising areas, some growers sold to local markets and thus could benefit from cold storage that would allow them to hold apples into the winter months when prices would rise. During the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, mechanical refrigeration was not available for individual farms in the fruit belt, so "common" or air-cooled storage prevailed. Fruit storage sometimes was built into the ground to take advantage of constant temperatures. In "common" storage, cool air was introduced by various systems involving vents and cool air, the air either coming from outside or from an ice room within the building. If ice was used, it was usually located in a chamber above the fruit storage space so as to take advantage of the heavier cold air's tendency to sink.

Apple Storage Building, Adams County
Apple cold storage building, Adams County, c. 1925.
Note the roof ridge ventilators; in-ground construction; thick masonry walls; and gable end loading door.