Way Back When ... 1888
Updated 2:39 pm, Friday, January 20, 2017
Fairfield is no stranger to blizzards, and snow will be on the agenda at next week’s “History Bites” chat at the Fairfield Museum. On Wednesday, Jan. 25 from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., join education staff for a brown bag lunch while engaging in lively conversations. This month’s topic is “Floods & Blizzards: Fairfield Responds to Catastrophe.”
The images here show one of Fairfield’s most famous snow storms. The Blizzard of 1888 took place from March 11 to 15. Reports state that five feet of snow fell, and strong winds created snow drifts as high as 15 to 20 feet. The snow suspended travel for days. Boats were used to deliver newspapers to Southport because trains could not get through. One local man, John Henry Beach, noted this in his diary on March 14, 1888: “[C]ommence digging out. Turned out with 18 men to open the road got down as far as Sam. Beach[‘s house] and gave up.”
The storm was dubbed “The Great White Hurricane,” and it covered the East Coast from Washington, DC to Maine. According to sources, it began as a weak area of low pressure that formed in the northern Gulf of Mexico on March 10 before moving through Georgia and up the North Carolina coast by March 11. It continued northward on March 11 and 12, then remained relatively stationary off the southern New England coast on March 12 and 13. It is perhaps the most famous snowstorm in U.S. history.
“History Bites” lunches will take place at 12:30 p.m. on the last Wednesday of the month at the Fairfield Museum, 370 Beach Road. They are free for Fairfield Museum members and $5 for non-members. Bring a bagged lunch. Iced tea and dessert will be provided.
The Fairfield Museum will also hold a “Museum After Dark” event on Thursday, Jan. 26 called “Storm Confessions.” Locals are encouraged to attend and to share their experiences with recent storms. Museum staff will be on hand to record stories and to preserve these stories for future generations. State Representative Brenda Kupchick will moderate the evening. It begins at 6pm with a wine & cheese reception and the forum will start promptly at 6:45pm.
The Fairfield Museum and History Center is located at 370 Beach Road. Learn more about the history and culture of Fairfield, view rotating exhibitions and purchase Fairfield-themed gifts at the Museum. For more information visit Fairfieldhistory.org or call (203) 259-1598; Fairfieldhistory.org. The Museum and Museum Shop are open daily, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.