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Stella Dyer Ewing's Memories of the Blizzard of 1888

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Stella Dyer Ewing's Memories of the Blizzard of 1888
Accession Number
Date Added
5/7/2017 7:05:11 AM
Contributed by
Elizabeth Ewing Fox
Collection Title
Collection Description
Memories of life in Chippenhook by Elizabeth Ewing Fox
Blizzard of March 1888
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Search Engine Type
This diary excerpt is shared with us by Bette Ewing Fox (1931 -2020).  Bette was Stella Dyer Ewing's (1867 - 1954) grandniece. 

"The storm warnings of March 11 resulting in closed schools throughout many New York and Vermont districts to occur on March 12 (today) brought to mind other Vermont blizzards. With the help of my great aunt Stella's diary I am sharing what it was like in Chippenhook, Vermont in 1888 with heavy snowfall.

Who remembers the blizzard of '93 which at the time was compared to the blizzard of '88 - 1888 that is -because they both started on March 11. But to judge from a young woman's observations, the earlier blizzard was a slow starter compared to the '93 blizzard. The young woman of 1888 was my great aunt 20 year old Stella Dyer Ewing of Chippenhook.

According to her diary entries, the now legendary 1888 blizzard barely rated mention its first day:
"Snowed. Mr. Everest here a short time. I went to Grandma's this P.M. Rather warm. By March 12, the storm was beginning to pick up considerably as Aunt Stella noted, " About the worst day we have had this winter. Snow and a severe wind. Also, grows colder continually."

By March 13, the scope of the blizzard was plain: "Snow from eight to twelve feet deep in the yard this morning. Snowed all day. Not a team to be seen. Painted wooden panels." On March 14, it had stopped snowing and the families of Chippenhook were beginning to deal with the results of the storm: "Warm. Snow, snow, snow. Papa has been out most of the day with others making the roads passable. No teams could get out till the way was shoveled."

Those were resilient days; by March 15, things seemed to have returned to normal: "Warm and pleasant. Painted and went to Grandma's." Where no doubt they talked about the snowstorm.

Perhaps her grandmother Mary Otis Ewing told her it was nothing like the snows back when she was a little girl growing up in Danby, Vermont!" 

The cover photo is of New Britain CT.  by F. W. Allderige of New Britain.