Marshall Historical Society

Snowfalls in the Town of Marshall
From newspaper articles: researched by Janet Dangler, 2018.

1895: Snow and snow on Paris Hill. Roads blocked with heavy drifts. Some twenty inches or more on a level. Mercury 8 degrees below. — Small congregations at the churches last Sunday. 'The embargo of storm and snow drifts could not be lifted in a day. October 1925: People here were rudely awakened to the fact that winter is just around the corner when a snow storm was experienced last Friday night. There had been some snowfall on last Tuesday early in the morning, but only those who were up at 5 o'clock saw much of it. However, the storm Friday night came when everyone could see it, being shortly before 6 o'clock that evening. Nor was it a mere snow flurry, for a sufficient amount of snow fell to make it troublesome to auto travel. In the twenty-four hours between Saturday morning and Sunday morning, between 15 and 20 cars were stalled or stuck in a snow drift just at the village limits on Berrill avenue. Cars were being pulled out all day. As late as Monday in the same place the snow was high enough to scrape under the axle, although ruts had been cut in so that cars could pull through without trouble. Reports came in from all over the countryside, telling of how deep the snow was and how cars were stalled and stuck in snow banks in many localities. According to records kept by people in town, the last storm last spring was on May 25th, but others state that snow fell on Decoration Day, and still another report has it that snow fell on June 30. At any rate measuring from snow storm, to snow storm, summer has come and gone, what there was of it. We still have hopes of an Indian summer this month, but can count on the prospect of nursing the furnace and wielding the snow shovel in much too short a time. Vermont farmers are quoted as saying that up there they have eight months of winter, followed by four months of very cold weather. We may be in their class as to weather, for real warm weather has not bothered us much this season.

1935: Events of interest in Waterville included the blizzard with which the year opened and which stranded many motorists, especially over Paris Hill. January 's worst snow storm and blizzard began New Years Day and highways throughout the state were impassible for several days. Motorists were stranded on the Paris Hill road overnight and the next day.

1941: For the third successive year the community is digging itself out of a snowfall so heavy that it forced school officials to send more than 400 rural children home during a blizzard that blocked roads in main sections and made driving hazardous if not impossible. The storm started shortly after 8 a.m. Tuesday (March 11, 1941). By 9 visibility was so bad that driving everywhere was forced to stop. Halted cars and trucks of all kinds were quickly buried and snowplow crews were compelled to suspend operations because they could not see where they were going. All school bus drivers succeeded in reaching the school except Clint Daley. That bus got stuck on Daytonville Road at the top of Carney's Hill. This is the same place where he was marooned for several hours on Jan. 30, 1939. Again it was some time before school officials knew where the bus and its load of children were. During the early forenoon the storm rapidly increased in intensity. School officials decided to close the school and get the children home as soon as possible. Highway Superintendents George Van Swall of Marshall and Gilbert Roberts of Sangerfield offered the cooperation of their snowplow crews and starting at 10:30 o'clock the Highway Superintendent George Van Swall of the Town of Marshall dispatched two snowplows to the aid of Daley's bus. They finally broke through the drifts and towed the bus and 26 children to the school, arriving at 1 p.m. Examination found that the motor compartment was filled with snow.. Even the clutch and brake pedals were covered with snow which had blown in. The children were taken into the school, warmed and fed and soon after 2 started back up the Paris Hill road in another bus preceded by a plow in an effort to get them back home. Mrs. James Gibbons, who lives near Paris, (the present Wayne T. Wehrle residence) reported by phone that the children all had been safely delivered by 4 p.m. The storm lasted all day and deposited 12 to 14 inches of new snow which the high wind piled up into four and six foot drifts across many of the narrower county roads. By midafternoon traffic was at a standstill In all directions and numerous marooned cars added to the complications facing the snowplow crews In their efforts to break through. The snow stopped falling Tuesday night but the high wind, continuing all day Wednesday, kept piling the snow drifts higher and higher. Snowplow crews, working heroically, kept opening the Watervllle-Deansboro-Clinton road at intervals, only to find that in an hour or two the road was again completely blocked by hard packed drifts and marooned cars.

January 1958: The three days of snow and sub-freezing weather disrupted the normal course of events in Deansboro as elsewhere. Last Wednesday the school children received a day off, fortunately one which was warm and pleasant so that all winter activities outdoors could be enjoyed, provided there was a supply of extra dry mittens. - Those who plowed driveways had it all to do again Thursday and Friday. The Congregational Church Women's Fellowship postponed their meeting until Wednesday, January 22, and the church choir cancelled practice because the driveway was impassable with packed snow. Little Town Club members reluctantly decided against climbing West Hill for their Friday evening meeting at the Dietz home. School buses ran again Thursday and Friday, Bus 26 being stuck up on Paris Hill one afternoon and requiring the services of a nearby farm tractor. Kenny Fuess' road department worked around the clock, with two trucks getting stuck at one time; at another McMullen's rushed a spare part to Canning Factory Road. These incidents were considered 'minor' by Mr. Fuess.

1966: School resumed Thursday, following a three-day close-down because of the blizzard, but many roads were still clogged with snow, and students in outlying sections had to walk to the buses, roads such as Page, Gridley and West Hill, still being plugged. Those were cleared by the weekend. Generally only minor crises occurred during the blizzard. A snowmobile was in operation for trips to otherwise inaccessible places; and snow plows preceded fuel trucks to expedite needed deliveries. Two members of the Air Force: Barry Meyer, enroute to Griffiss; and Bill Grady, who was heading for Univac in Ilion were marooned by the weather Sunday night and slept in the firehouse. Monday night they enjoyed the hospitality: of Mr. and Mrs. Curtis Cook. The firehouse was kept plowed and equipment available at all times during the storm.

An editorial, 1966: I guess we were all so busy digging out after the storm that we neglected to give credit to those who worked so hard for us during that "blizzard of 66": The Town of Marshall crew under the direction of John Cornelius and the Town of Sangerfield crew under the direction of "Wait" Welch deserve a great deal of credit. I work for the State DPW. And we were out during part of the storm and I know what the crews were up against. Not only was the visibility zero but many cars were stuck making the job much harder for the plow crews to do their job. How they did the job I don't know but they did and a very good job well done. Of course there were a few "crank calls." "Why isn't my road plowed?" And, "I can't get out with my milk," etc. But I know that the plows took fuel trucks in where needed. As long as there was no serious emergency such as sickness or fire there should be no reason for anyone to complain. We had plenty of food and fuel oil and the road was open to Deansboro and it was a pretty darn good feeling to know that help could get here if we had a fire. And while we are at it a big thanks to the firemen who were on duty during the storm ready for any emergency that might arise.

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