Welcome to my genealogy blog. Ancestors I Wish I Knew is a combination of genealogical information and stories about individuals in my family tree. The focus is on those from my Cochrane, Eitelbach, Merrett, Minarcik and Richards lines and their descendants.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

#47--Gertrude Richards--That is a lot of snow!

Fort Greene Place Brooklyn--Blizzard of  '88
This week’s theme is plowing.  You can plow through the snow in winter or you can plow the land in the Spring.  My first impulse was to blog about my great, great uncle, who farmed his entire life.  Then I remembered I had this wonderful picture of the street my grandmother lived on in Brooklyn, New York during the Blizzard of '88.  I decided that I could save my great, great uncle for another time, and blog about the Blizzard of '88.  I grew up in New York City, and it seems to me, every time we had a large snowfall, it was compared to the Blizzard of 88 and the Blizzard of 88 was always much worse.  So I decided that I would find out a little more about that blizzard. 

Heading New York Times
I figured that the best place to start would be with newspapers.  I started with the New York Times for March 13, and 14, 1888.  The headline for March 14 is a pretty fair summary of what happened.  The article enlarges on the conditions of the city. 

The storm started as rain on March 12, but the temperature dropped during the night, heavy snow fell and the winds increased to 50 miles an hour.  While the measured snow fall was 21 inches, the winds created very large drifts, in some cases reaching to the second floor of houses. The city came to a halt.  Horse carriages could not run, elevated and railroad trains stopped, ferry boats sank, and communication by telephone or telegraph were impossible.   Businesses and schools remained closed.  Hotels filled with people who could not get home.  Some people walked to or from Brooklyn to Manhattan over the frozen East River, until they were stopped by the police, who feared the ice would break.  It is estimated that 200 people in New York City died during the blizzard.  While some of them frozen to death in the snow, others were killed by falling electrical wires and poles. No wonder it was called “The White Hurricane.”

I would really like to be able to talk to my grandmother about her experiences during the blizzard.  First, I would want to know who is in that picture.  Is it her and her two brothers?  Are they shoveling the snow?  If not, who did shovel it? I would also like to know whether they were trapped in the house, and, whether her father tried to go to work in Manhattan.  
Brooklyn Bridge

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