UNITED STATES MN, 1887 St. Paul Winter Carnival Ice Palace




Collections: Medals, World Medals

Product type: Medal

Vendor: Britannianumismatics



UNITED STATES MN, 1887 St. Paul Winter Carnival Ice Palace by Northwestern Stamp Works 23.1mm x 20.2mm plated base metal medal with integral loop 1.33 grams (its tiny)

Obverse: ice palace, ST. PAUL ICE PALACE & WINTER CARNIVAL / 1887 / N.W. STAMP WKS

Reverse: Crossed snow shoes, a toboggan, and a torch

The palaces of the first three St Paul Carnivals are the most legendary of all. The golden age of ice palace creativity produced the structures which served multiple purposes. They attracted literally hundreds-of-thousands of people to view them. The palaces also served as an economic boost to stone masons, brick layers, and laborers unemployed in the winter months. The ice palaces were, of course, the center of all Carnival activities.

The original ice palaces were the tallest buildings in the Saint Paul skyline in their time. The first palace, designed by a prestigious Canadian architect, had a perimeter of 160 feet by 180 feet and was 106 feet in height. It contained many large halls and rooms. Due to a small pox epidemic which halted the 1886 Montreal Winter Festival, businessmen in St. Paul were able to lure Alexander Hutchinson, the designer of Montreal's 1883 through 1885 ice palaces, to design Minnesota's first ice palace. The castle was constructed in St. Paul in February 1886 with more than 35,000 blocks of ice. This medieval 1886 castle was surpassed in 1887 when a Saint Paul architect, C. E. Joy , designed a larger, more elaborate palace in the shape of a Roman cross. Replete with towers and flying buttress, the most impressive features of this palace were the octagonal central tower and the huge, five-foot thick archway entrance.

In 1881, the Northwestern Stamp Works was founded in Milwaukee by Andrew Schwaab. On May 8, 1888, the company incorporated and changed its name to Schwaab Stamp and Seal Company. Andrew successfully continued and expanded the business until he died on April 19, 1911.  The company exists today in Brookfield, WI.

The illustration of the Ice Palace does not come with the medal.