“Awful Cold Snap”, January of 1875

Unless you’ve been walking around with a space heater attached to your head, you know it’s been really really really cold. I boogered around in the Old News archive to see how our friends in the 1800s dealt with the cold weather and while I didn’t find any tips on staying warm, I did find a wonderful little article that talked about an “awful cold snap”. Here are just some of the nasty things that happened:

  • It was -20 in our lovely little town
  • Thanks to a keen, cutting wind from the southwest, all who were obliged to go outside were seen “hurrying in frigid haste”
  • Bushels of frostbitten ears and fingers were reported to the paper (that seems odd…did people just walk in to announce their frostbite!?)
  • Jack Frost “stole stealthily” into the cellars of area homes and “bit” the apples and potatoes and froze the milk and beer. NOT THE BEER!!! Damn you, Jack Frost!
  • Cheyenne reported a temperature of -37 (a quick search yields no Cheyenne, MI, btw)
  • In Detroit, a milkman froze to death while delivering his goods via his wagon
  • Trains in Iowa, Nebraska and Minnesota were stopped because of the cold
  • Then the paper gets a little weird and says something about how “all through the region where the grasshopper plague swept away the food, now comes the freezing cold to wipe out still more of human life.” I don’t know if they were looking for clickbait just being melodramatic or what, but I find that sentence rather disturbing.

Stay warm!

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