Weather rambling — July 1888 drought and wind
“Many and fervent are the prayers for rain,” The Morning Star of Glens Falls reported on July 11, 1888.
The prayer was quickly answered, although not to the desired abundance.
“The long-prayed-for rain came last evening, but not in such quantities as we would wish for,” The Morning Star reported on July 12. “There was enough to lay the dust, but not to be of any material benefit to growing crops.”
There was some comfort.
“With the rain came a lowering of temperature several degrees.”
After the rain came a violent wind.
“The windstorm which set in after the shower of rain Wednesday and continued with more or less vehemence until nine o’clock yesterday morning seems to have extended over a wide territory and to have done more or less damage to property,” The Morning Star reported on July 13.
Property damage was most severe at Lake George.
“Captain Arbuckle, of the steamer Ticonderoga, said the lake was the roughest he had seen in all of the years of his long experience. Huge white-caps chased one another in rapid succession and dashed upon the beaches like angry ocean swells, and late yesterday afternoon had not yet subsided.”
At Glen Lake, several trees were blown down, and two of the trees landed on the roof of the new Glen Lake House hotel, that had just opened July 4, slightly damaging some of the roof slates.
“Mrs. Eddy, (wife of the hotel manager), stood in the doorway when the trees fell Thursday morning, and was badly frightened, fearing that the roof would be crushed in.”
Typical summer weather came after the wind storm.
“July has thus far been a great favorite,” the Lake George correspondent reported in The Morning Star on July 19. “AEolus has been playing on Bolton’s hillsides, sometimes reckless, as a number of fallen trees are witnesses of his spirit. He has been a welcome guest to all, in spite of his few pranks.”
On July 15, the temperature was 86 at Glen Lake.
Leaving out the high and low temperatures does not detract from the following concise weather report.
“One can eat his peck of dust without trying these days,” The Morning Star reported on July 19.
Rain that fell was not sufficient.
“The welcome showers Wednesday night were supplemented last evening by a rain fall that gave Mother Earth a much-needed soaking,” The Morning Star reported on July 20. “It will require more of the same to revive growing crops from the effects of the prolonged drought.”
Yet, the palate would be blessed with a taste better than dust.
“Large ripe tomatoes were picked last evening from the vines in Mrs. John Keenan’s garden on Warren Street,” The Morning Star reported on July 24. “They are the first ripe tomatoes, so far as The Star has heard, picked anywhere in this section this season.”
The distinction was disputed.
“Our South Hartford correspondent writes: ‘Please score Hartford one ahead of Warren Street on tomatoes. Mrs. Charles Townsend, of this place, picked one fully ripe more than a week ago,’” The Morning Star reported on July 26.
Drought conditions throughout Washington County were reported in The Granville Sentinel on July 27.
“Everywhere in this vicinity, the gardens are suffering from drought, but the hay crops are good.”
At Comstock: “The last three weeks have been very dry. Farmers are nearly through with their haying. Hay was a very fine crop, but little short of last year. Corn now looks as if it would be nearly a failure. There was so much rain in the fore part of the season that it nearly killed corn, and then dry weather followed and cold nights, so that the growth is very slow. Oats will be the weakest that they have been in years.”
At Shushan: “The drought still continues and vegetation is suffering materially for the want of rain in this section.”
At Hebron: “Many of our farmers will finish haying this week. The crop is an unusually good one. We had fine showers on two days of the past week, which were very much needed.”
The Glens Falls area was still in need of a good dousing as July came to a close.
“The rain storm which visited this section yesterday morning, while doing some good to growing crops, was not sufficient in volume to satisfy the demands of the agriculturalist or the mill owner,” The Morning Star reported on July 28.
It also was a hot July in 1887.
“This weather ought to be sufficiently hot to suit the most cold-blooded individual on earth,” The Granville Sentinel reported on July 1, 1887
“Yesterday was the hottest day so far this summer,” The Fort Edward correspondent reported in The Morning Star on July 2. “The thermometer registered ninety-seven degrees in the shade. In the sun it was warm enough to boil eggs.”
On July 6, the South Glens Falls correspondent reported: “The mercury keeps up a bubbling pitch. At Tearse’s harness shop, it registered ninety-four in the shade.”
Relief came soon.
“The grateful showers yesterday afternoon were accepted as benisons from a heavenly hand, to cool the sultry atmosphere and bring relief to sweltering humanity,” The Morning Star reported on July 9.
Say that again with a bit more flowery language.
“On the parched earth over the drying vegetation, laying the finely powered dust, fell the gracious rain last night, its soft, sleepy patter singing a welcome lullaby for the tired workers and pillow-seeking participants of Monday’s celebration.”
On July 14, the Wevertown correspondent reported that temperatures had been running between 90 and 100 degrees for several weeks, yet, all was not dismal.
“Huckleberries are plenty om the mountains this year and large in size.”
The abundance continued.
“Blueberries are plenty on the mountains, and Sunday’s rain made everything grow nicely and the crops are good looking,” the Wevertown correspondent reported on July 21.
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