Frozen again

 

Hey, I saw that movie Frozen. I just didn’t expect to experience it. What “act of true love” will break this icy spell and thaw our magic kingdom?

Popular Science explains here the weather phenomenon with the scary name bombogenesis, or “bomb cyclone” that put us in its grip. Winter Storm Grayson pounded us with high winds, coastal flooding, and punishing low wind-chill temperatures. In its wake, the jet stream aligned to deliver even more numbing frigid air from the area encircling the North Pole known as the polar vortex.

News accounts of yesteryear found in our Historical Local Newspapers remind us that Riverton has frozen and eventually thawed many times.

On New Year’s Day 1881, as Philadelphia recorded a low temperature of 4 degrees, no doubt Riverton residents suffered a similar condition. The January 15 Riverton Journal reported “snow ploughs have rendered sufficient service these past weeks” and “heavy snowfalls and the intensely cold weather” had suspended building activity in the developing town. The monthly periodical advised “the  sloop Addie C. Horner… is fast in the ice at Riverton pier” and that “sleighing promises to be in demand for some time to come.”

Business District of Palmyra, N.J., Broadway Theater marquee at left

Another cold spell occurred in early 1918. Philadelphia recorded 2 degrees on January 4. The January 11, 1911 issue of The Palmyra Record told citizens that a bad fall on ice caused Miss Emma Johnson to sustain a broken arm. Trains resumed a normal schedule after two weeks of “abnormal activity.” Mr. Powell Thatcher rendered assistance when Frank E. Chambers received a “cold plunge” as he was skating on the Delaware River. Water pipes had frozen in Palmyra’s Broadway Palace Theater and management advised: “repairs have been completed.”

Here is hoping that you and yours have been bearing up in this cold. If you have any pix of the recent storm, please send to rivertonhistory@gmail.com.  Look in our Historical Local Newspapers for more old news from the past and let us know what you uncover. -JMc

rev. 1-8-2018: Added photo. Click here for full view of the historical marker.

frozen Delaware River, RYC historical marker in foreground by Susan Dechnik 1-7-2018

 

 

History Repeats Itself as Ice Jams the Delaware River

As last night’s (Jan. 9) Action News segment explains, the sight of recent ice jams on the Delaware brought out spectators with cameras to record the “once in a lifetime” event. However, for our friend William Hall this makes at least twice, as regular readers of our newsletter will recall (“Adrift on the Icy Delaware,” Gaslight News, January 2013).

IMG_6279 [1024x768 PPt]
ice jam RYC pier 1920
This stereoview of ice shards clustered up over the pier by the Riverton Yacht Club in January 1920 comes from Elsie Waters. There is another view on a Feb. 2011 post along with a few other images from this rare collection.

Say, doesn’t that pumper in the Feb. 2011 post look like the same one depicted in the photo I bought on eBay, mentioned here Dec. 22? But, I am off topic.

March 8, 1934 Courier Post ice-bound RYC
March 8, 1934 Courier Post ice-bound RYC

Back to the ice conversation.

Here is mention of a close call for some ice skaters rescued from an ice floe in 1900 by Charles Biddle.

Mary Flanagan’s scrapbook continues to be a goldmine of source material for this blog. This newspaper clipping provides another example of the uncommon phenomenon.

Or is it?

Can any reader recall another occurrence of glacial blockage on the Delaware?

If you have an old one or a new one, please send us a scan or donate it for our archives.

River Ice, undated, from Bill & Nancy Hall's family photos
River Ice, undated

Please appreciate the view from a safe distance.

NYT, Feb 11, 1917 Charles Durbonard, possibly Durborow
NYT, Feb 11, 1917 Charles Durbonard, possibly Durborow

This is NOT to suggest that anyone should  actually risk going out on to ice.

Or in it, as evidenced by this clipping from a Feb. 11, 1917 New York Times showing Riverton’s Charles Durbonard taking his usual morning dip in the Delaware prior to going to his office in a Philadelphia bank.

I believe this is the same Charles Durborow referenced in news articles of the 1910s-1920s as being a champion long-distance swimmer associated with the Riverton Yacht Club.

Again, I digress. – John McCormick