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Odd Wisconsin Archive

Winter of the Big Snow

Every generation likes to think its successors have things easy. “Why, when I was young…” we are all tempted to say to our little ones. For several decades, though, the winter of 1880-1881 really was the worst that anyone could remember. This 1922 article from the Milwaukee Journal looks back on the autumn storm that began the wintery of 1880-1881 by claiming more than 70 lives on Lake Michigan. It concludes with memories of the awesome blizzard of the following March, when forced farmers burned their fences to keep warm. That blizzard's effect is plainly visible in this photo of the streets of Whitewater filled to the second story with snow and in another articlethat describes how the snow blanketed Waukesha until the following May.
:: Posted in Bizarre Events on January 6, 2005
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