The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

Columns

March 16, 2013

Area isolated during historic March 1888 snowstorm

Earlier in the week, we recalled the “Blizzard of 1993,” which was one containing historic snowfall that fell on our region on Saturday, March 13. It was the largest recorded in a single local snowfall in the 20th century, and ever since another storm dating back 105 years. The latter snowfall was worse than the 1993 storm, falling overnight into Tuesday, March 13, 1888. It was commonly referred to as the “Blizzard of 1888.”

“A weird and crushing aspect presented itself to the good people of this village this morning with the thermometer at four below zero and three feet of snow on the level, and in some places it had drifted to four and five feet,” it was reported in The Oneonta Daily News of March 13.

“We are completely cut off from the outside world as if we were in prison. All communication, except by telephone and telegraph, are suspended. Trains are abandoned. The 3 o’clock train east yesterday afternoon is the only train that has passed over the road since yesterday noon. She got as far as Quaker Street and stopped. The wind blew a hurricane from the northeast all night.”

The Daily News was the forerunner to The Oneonta Star. The publisher was obviously proud that the news couldn’t be halted by the weather.

“In this chaos of uncertainty Oneonta has been since Saturday without a daily newspaper, except the Daily News, which has thrown its bright smile into the homes of our village like a stray sunbeam against a cloudy sky.”

Many people got to and from work, even the morning after the hard hit of snow and cold.

“The old one horse snow-plow was resorted to once more this morning. Mr. Bell of Grand street did a good work in clearing the sidewalks and crossings. Two or three on their way to the chair factory met the reporter who was up to his neck in snow.” The chair factory was once found in a complex of buildings in the area of lower Rose Avenue in the East End. “Still they did not think there was any need of an ark yet.”

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