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What’s the history of Rose Ice Co.?

Merton Vance
StarNews

Rose Ice and Coal Co. at 1202 Market St., Wilmington [Map this] opened in 1933, selling ice in the summer and coal in the winter, hauling both on wagons pulled by mules.

Coal was widely used to heat houses when the coal part of the business got started, but demand for residential use slowly declined.

About 70 years ago, the city had eight coal dealers. Ten years later, it had five. Rose was the last to continue selling coal, sending its last coal out the door in January 2002.

The company is still in the ice business, however, delivering truckloads around the region.

“We’re hanging in there,” said current owner Archie Harris, who bought the company in 1973.

Charles Riesz., now a retired editor of the editorial pages for the StarNews, wrote a column in 2002 in which he recalled his childhood days growing up in Wilmington and watching coal glowing in the fireplace. Here’s a link:

www.starnewsonline.com/article/20020121/NEWS/201210312

User-contributed question by:
Amy Sliger

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One Response to “ What’s the history of Rose Ice Co.?”

  1. On February 17, 2010 at 1:20 am Kelly O'Donnell wrote:

    All I know is that when the rest of downtown is down during a hurricane, Rose comes through with reasonably priced ice to keep our life going. My first experience was when Hurricane Bertha hit in ’96. They were one of the only places open and I have relied on them since!



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