Thursday, February 1, 2018

Groundhog Day 1906

Tomorrow is Groundhog Day. Although it might seem that media coverage of it is a relatively new phenomena, here's evidence showing that it's been going on longer than we might think.

Above is the front page of the Lorain Daily News from February 2, 1906. As you can see, a charming illustration of a groundhog wearing a nightcap is front and center.

I’ve left a few of the other articles there too for your reading pleasure. They include a tragedy on the Avon Beach and Southern Railway and a sad story about a Wellington man with a drinking problem.

Anyway, here's the article (below) about that very cold day in Lorain.

February 2 a Surprise in Chilliness – Extreme Cold Brought Discomfort to Many


Gee, but it’s cold! Wow!
The thermometer stood at zero at a number of places in the city this morning at 6 o’clock. Residents spent hours in the attics of their homes freezing their fingers hunting for the old winter cap which was put away last year and which was thought would not be needed this winter. Just where the warm woolen gloves got was a mystery, which puzzled the head of many a family this bright morning.

When sleeping Lorain awoke to business it found a wonderful transformation had taken place. Instead of the balmy spring weather which has greeted the rising world for months, the frost was a quarter of an inch thick on the windows, the furnace was out and in many cases the water in the cold kitchen had frozen solid. When mother went out on the back porch for the morning’s supply of milk she found the lacteal fluid frozen solid and the bottle cracked by the expansion.

As a matter of fact, this is the coldest day of the winter thus far. The government report shows that the maximum temperature for the past twenty-four hours was thirty-one above and the minimum four above.

At George Buell’s residence out on East Erie avenue the temperature stood four above, at the electric waiting room two, Chief of Police Braman’s and Mayor King’s six above. At Mike McGuane’s saloon at 8:30 the thermometer stood at three above and Captain Julian Porter said it was zero at his home early in the morning. Yesterday afternoon the temperature commenced to go down gradually. At midnight it was down to twelve and continued on its downward course until daylight.

At police headquarters this morning, Mayor King, Chief of Police Braman and Officer Holl spun numerous yarns about the cold weather they remembered in June many years ago.

The mayor said he could remember sitting on the fence in his shirt sleeves whittling at a piece of wood when suddenly there was a cool breeze felt across his broad shoulders. Looking up he soon discovered the cause of the cool wave. A large field of ice was floating in the lake, having come all the way from Lake Superior. This story had all the rest beaten and no one attempted to beat it. This mayor asserts, however, that strange as it may sound, the statement was a fact.

Tomorrow on the actual holiday, we’ll look at Groundhog Day 1968.

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