Thursday, February 10, 2011

Cold Then, Cold Now

The very ... wintry winter we are having just now in Franklin County makes some folks rejoice and some folks grumble.  In the collection of the Franklin County Historical and Museum Society (1968.573.5) is a day book belonging to Charles W. Wilson of Fort Covington, NY that he used in 1914 to record his personal finances and other events of his daily life such as the weather.

Since the warmth of summer tends to erase our memory each year of what North Country winters are like and we are surprised anew at snow and cold, we present Charles Wilson's record of the winter of 1914 as a sort of commiseration as well as perspective that winter comes every year...

A sampling of entries:   [editor's comments in italics]

January 6:  Cold east wind.  The wind has been in the east for 6 days & changed to-night

January 9:  I was at home all day.  Nothing doeing [sic].  It has snowed a part of day to-day.

January 10:  It snowed all last night & all day to-day.  I have shovelled [sic] twice to-day the walks.  I drew 800 out of Bank to-day for to use by my own check.

January 11:  Sunday. Verry [sic] cold.

January 13:  The Coldest this morning of any so far.  Anywhere from 30 to 38 degrees below zero.  I shovelled [sic] out Billings walk. 

January 20:  Stormed Snow all day & pretty much of last night.

[sound familiar?]

January 21:  Verry [sic] Cold.  I shovelled [sic] out the walks & shovelled [sic] the walks for the corporation 15 minutes.

January 22:  12 degrees below zero this morning & roads verry [sic] heavy. 

January 24:  It has rained & thawed most all day & turned cold at night.

January 25:  Sunday.  4 below zero to-day.

January 31:  It hailed & Snowed all day & all night.  Not verry [sic] cold but windy.  Bad to be out. 

[perhaps February will look up?]

February 2:  Candelmas day.  Sun Shone bright a part of day & part cloudy.  Warmer to-day.

February 3:  A nice warm day & thawed a good deal. 


February 7:  I Shovelled [sic] Billings walk, Mrs. Laws & my own.  About 3 inches of Snow fell last night.  It thawed most all day & turned cold & windy & blustering.

February 8:  Sunday.  Pretty cold & clear.  I had my eyes tested & a new pair of glasses.

February 11:  A Cold day.  20 degrees below zero this morning & the same to-night at 6 o'clock at night.

[Perhaps the weather will have pity on Mr. Wilson for his birthday...  or not]

February 12:  My birth day - 67 years old.  Last night & to-day terrible cold.  Anywhere from 20 to 30 degrees below zero.  Verry [sic] Clear.  I paid Kelsey for coal delivered on the eleventh - 30.50 lbs of coal by check [$]10.93.

February 15:  Sunday.  Cold & clear.  We are on the sick list.  None went to church.

February 18:  A Real Nice Day.   I went up to my place & up to Eliza's & back home.  I gave Eliza her last year's card for the 2 cords of wood she sent to the Church.

February 19:  Another nice day.  I split wood here.


February 1914 turned nice eventually and we suppose so will ours in 2011.  Get out there and split some wood. 

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