Illustration from St. Nicholas magazine, February 1879.

The classic book Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates deserves a slot in any iceboating book collection because it describes ice yachts in beautiful detail. The author, Mary Mapes Dodge, may have acquired some knowledge of ice sailing living in New York and New Jersey. Dodge edited a famous children’s magazine for many years, and she included iceboat plans and articles in several of the issues. In 1879, the magazine St. Nicholas published “The Ice Boating Song.” Dodge put music to the song from her famous book.

From Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates

Just then a beautiful iceboat with reefed sail and flying streamers swept leisurely by. Its deck was filled with children muffled up to their chins. Looking at them from the ice you could see only smiling little faces imbedded in bright-colored woolen wrappings. They were singing a chorus in honor of Saint
Nicholas. The music, starting in the discord of a hundred childish voices, floated, as it rose, into exquisite harmony: