Sunday, March 31, 2019

The End of March a Hundred Years Ago

On February 2, Punxsutawney Phil predicted an early spring, but, alas, yesterday was first day that actually felt like spring, and today, a day prematurely, we're experiencing the April showers that bring May flowers.

A hundred years ago, on April 1, 1919, the weather was the subject of a few items that appeared on the front page of the Columbia Republican. That year, at the end of an unusually warm March, there was a snowstorm that buried roads under snowdrifts, impeded travel, and threatened severe flooding. This article summarizes the weather in the month of March 1919.

The news item transcribed below, which also appeared on the front page of the Columbia Republican on April 1, 1919, recounts the impact of the snowstorm on travelers. (The picture of General Worth House, with no snow in sight, is Gossips' addition.)

During the past three days it is estimated that over thirty motor parties have had to discontinue their trips thru the State here and put their motor cars in storage in the local garages. Inquiries made yesterday of the hotels and garages revealed this fact. Nearly all the parties were on their way from New York across the State. They say that they encountered no snow until after passing Yonkers and then only a light fall in the roadways which did not cause any trouble. Between Poughkeepsie and Hudson they first realized the heavy fall of snow and on reaching Hudson had to stop.
Most of the parties went to the hotels and stored their cars for a day or two, expecting the snow to melt away in a short time. Yesterday when they realized that the situation was so better than before they left here by train, after putting their cars up in garages. In one case a car was shipped by freight from here by the owner to Erie, Pa.
Dr. P. A. Williams, a noted New York surgeon, who with a party was registered at The Worth, telephoned the State Highway Department at Albany from here yesterday to learn the prospects of motoring thru to Rochester. He said he was told that taxis were running from Albany to Amsterdam but were having considerable difficulty, but that the roadway on west of Amsterdam was completely blocked and that it might be two weeks before motorists could pass. Upon learning this Dr. Williams left by train after storing his car.

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