Eyewitness to the Great Blizzard of 1888

Video description
Albert Hunt recalls the Great Blizzard of 1888 in Winsted Connecticut. He worked for Dowd Printing Co. on North Main Street.

This is a wire recording from 1949 made at Pete’s Steak & Lobster House on Elm Street in Winsted. Also hear “Buddy” Ryan who introduces Mr. Hunt. Recording made by Howard Deming who was 8 years old in 1888. He remembered the snow so deep he could walk on the snow and sit on the telephone pole cross bars. In the days before the storm, it was warm and balmy. People were outside preparing their gardens for what seemed like an early spring, but the barometer was falling.

Special thanks to the Connecticut Historical Society for the photographs.

Drifts were reported to average 30–40 feet (9.1–12 m), over the tops of houses from New York to New England, with reports of drifts covering 3-story houses. The highest drift (52 feet or 16 metres) was recorded in Gravesend, New York. It was reported that 58 inches (150 cm) of snow fell in Saratoga Springs, New York; 48 inches (120 cm) in Albany, New York; 45 inches (110 cm) of snow in New Haven, Connecticut; and 22 inches (56 cm) of snow in New York City. The storm also produced severe winds; 80 miles per hour (129 km/h) wind gusts were reported, although the highest official report in New York City was 40 miles per hour (64 km/h), with a 54 miles per hour (87 km/h) gust reported at Block Island.[5] New York’s Central Park Observatory reported a minimum temperature of 6 °F (−14 °C), and a daytime average of 9 °F (−13 °C) on March 13, the coldest ever for March.


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