Weather rambling — Coal fires and revival fires
“Whew! This is the kind of weather that lowers the stock in coal bins and makes the dealer in anthracite chuckle as he contemplates the prospective addition to the shekels in his coffers,” The Morning Star of Glens Falls reported on Jan. 13, 1888.
Precisely, the temperature was twenty below zero at Glens Falls and Fort Edward the previous morning, “the coldest of the winter” so far, 16 below at Saratoga Springs, and 28 below at Gansevoort.
The cold spell had not prevented outdoor religious services.
Baptist church members at Warrensburg cut a hole in the ice near Cole’s barber shop on Jan. 6 so that the Rev. J. C. Burket could baptize six people that were converted at a revival.
The weather in the Glens Falls region in January 1888 was good for sleighing and logging.
At Conklingville, in Hadley, 48 inches of snow had already fallen that winter, as of Jan. 4.
“Finer sleighing could not be wished for,” The Granville Sentinel reported on Jan. 13.
“Parties of lumberman are daily passing through the village on their way to the woods,” the Luzerne correspondent reported in The Morning Star on Jan. 6.
“Plenty of snow and good sleighing. Consequently the lumbermen are happy,” the Chestertown correspondent reported.
The ice at Katskill Bay, on Lake George, was nine inches thick on Jan. 9.
Solid ice made it possible for harvesting ice, fishing through the ice and racing horses on the ice.
“Perch fishing is good. The ice harvest has commenced,” the East Lake George correspondent to The Morning Star reported on Jan. 20.
“The snow on the river at Parks Ferry (Sandy Hill) will be scraped today for a race track. Much sport is expected this winter by our horsemen,” The Morning Star reported on Jan. 14.
“Charles Crannell, the South Glens Falls barber, has scraped three good half-mile tracks on the river and invites owners of horses on both sides of the river to speed their trotters there,” The Morning Star reported on Jan. 23.
There was a short mid-January thaw.
“The frost-laden air Saturday night gave place to a damp atmosphere, followed by rain yesterday morning. Last evening another rain storm set in,” The Morning Star reported on Jan. 16. “The drops froze as they fell and left sidewalks in a slippery condition. The good Samaritan will distribute sand or sawdust in front of his premises early this morning and thus make locomotion safe for pedestrians.”
Winter weather did not lose its grip.
“George Fish, of Bolton, sojourned in Glens Falls yesterday. He reports the ice in the lake a foot thick.” The Morning Star reported on Jan. 21.
“Yesterday was the coldest day of the season at Warrensburg,” The Morning Star reported on Jan. 21. “The thermometer reached twenty-six degrees below zero and in some locations thirty-two degrees below. Many water pipes froze and burst.”
On Jan. 22, the temperature ranged from 28 below to 36 below zero at Glens Falls, and was 38 below at the St. James Hotel in Fort Edward and 33 below at Moreau.
“People hugged the fireside closely, and the streets were practically deserted in the evening.”
The temperature moderated the next day.
“The cold wave which enveloped the region Saturday night and Sunday morning subsided last evening, and the moderate temperature that followed was obviously welcomed by chilled humanity,” The Morning Star reported on Jan.24.
A “veritable blizzard” swept the region the evening of Jan. 25, lasting through the day on Jan. 26.
“No train of any kind, except the sleeper, reached Fort Edward from the north,” The Morning Star reported on Jan. 27.
That train’s arrival was delayed, as it was snowbound at Smith’s Basin, near Fort Ann, for 12 hours.
“The big snow plow ‘Jake” was run over the road during the morning, and in consequence the trains from the south were nearly on time. It was found impossible, however, to keep the road open, and all trains were finally abandoned.”
The storm sent Morning Star reporters and editors scrambling for copy, as correspondent reports, dispatched via train, did not arrive.
At Lake George, the blizzard extended a masquerade party of 30 celebrants on Jan.26 at the home of Sheriff Bryant.
“At a late hour it was discovered that the roads were blockaded and the party was snowbound, so the rest of the night was spent in in dancing, singing and merry-making,” The Morning Star reported on Jan. 31, as it caught up on delayed correspondents’ copy. “At daylight, paths were shoveled, horses and sleighs were brought forth and conveyed to their several homes. They will ever remember the kindness and hospitality of Mr. and Mrs. Bryant.”
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