Ice skating has been a popular activity in the United States since the 19th century. During the 19th and 20th centuries, residents of Washington, D.C. used the Potomac River, the Tidal Basin, and the Reflecting Pool on the National Mall as their ice rinks. They were popular destinations for men, women, and children to skate. According to the Washington Post, “During the winters of the early 20th century, cars would park in front of the Lincoln Memorial and the skaters would make the short walk to ice skate on the Reflecting Pool.”
However, safety concerns later int he 20th century took ice skaters off these ‘natural’ rinks and into brand new man-made ones instead. Photography has captured those times when people were able to skate in front of the Lincoln Memorial, heralding memories of a time gone by.