Ice skating on Hubbell's Pond, a village tradition that dates back 100 years, has once again been suspended this winter to cut costs.
According to Kevin Ocker, chairman of the Board of Commissioners of Cultural and Recreational Affairs, it costs the village approximately $12,000 a season to set up and monitor the skating program; this includes setting up the warming area, installing sitting areas and ramps down to the ice for safety, monitoring the ice, clearing snow from the ice and staffing the pond area to monitor skaters when and if the ice is safe to skate on.
Ocker said the pond does not freeze evenly and even when conditions are perfect an area of only 100 by 200 feet is actually usable. The ice must be 6 inches deep to skate.
The pond, which some in town may not know exists, sits lower on the property. Village historian John Ellis Kordes said residents could catch a glimpse of it atop Tenth Street.
According to M.H. Smith's book, Garden City, Long Island in Early Photographs, 1869-1919, it wasn't until the Garden City Golf Club was developed in 1899 that Hubbell decided to "landscape its bare shores."
Actually called Lake Cornelia, the pond was named after Garden City founder A.T. Stewart's wife. It got its nickname, Hubbell's Pond, in honor of Garden City's first mayor, George Hubbell, who built houses along its shore for himself and his children.