Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Children's Blizzard of January 1888

On January 12, 1888, "...the mercury fell within twenty-four hours from 74 above zero to 28 below it in some places, and in Dakota went down to 40 below zero. In fine clear weather, with little or no warning, the sky darkened and the air was filled with snow, or ice-dust, as fine as flour, driven before a wind so furious and roaring that men's voices were inaudible at a distance of six feet. Men in the fields and children on their way from school died ere they could reach shelter; some of them having been not frozen, but suffocated from the impossiblility of breathing the blizzard." - from The Big Brash Blizzard of 1888, by Dick Taylor

The Gamble letters have a gap with no letters in 1888, so they are unfortunately silent concerning this storm.

But one source - a biography of a storm, if you will - is David Laskin's "The Children's Blizzard", which I can't recommend highly enough. It covers the communities and individuals - through news accounts, officials records of the time, and narratives by the survivors - of our region, and what they saw and experiences that day they never forgot...