There must be more to this story, but all I have to offer is this photo and caption card I found in the HSR files. The card reads:
1896 SNOW HOUSE
BUILT BY JOE ROLAND OF ST. CATHERINES, CANADA
ON SLED – MARIE WRIGHT
AT LEFT – REX SHOWELL THE HOUSE WAS CUT OUT OF A SNOW DRIFT
3RD FROM TOP – EDDIE B. SHOWELL
2ND FROM TOP – EDDIE P. SHOWELL
TOP OF HOUSE – WALTER WRIGHT
BEHIND HOUSE – ALLEN EARNSHAW
INSIDE HOUSE – FLORENCE SHARP
AT RIGHT – LAURA WHITE
Click on the thumbnails at left to view the entire cabinet card and the index card.
Do you think those kids knew they were making Riverton history when they carved that fort out of a snowdrift?
Why don’t you look though your family archives and see what you could add to these pages of Riverton history?
In completely unrelated news, the Society’s Board met last night at President Phyllis Rodgers’ home and, despite falling short of a quorum, planned details for the upcoming Antique and Collectible Appraisal on Sat., March 28, and the Second Annual Preservation Awards Night in mid-April.
Also in our job jar is preparing our recently enlarged area in the basement of Riverton Free Library to better store our documents, photos, and artifacts and to one day receive visitors.
What would you hope to see when you get there? You Riverton ex-patriates now living across the miles – what would you like to see displayed here online? – JMc
SNOW DAY! Are there any sweeter words to be heard when one is of school age? I confess that, even as a school teacher, there were days in which I welcomed that phone call. Today’s Riverton students no longer wait praying by the radio hoping to hear the name “Riverton Public School,” or even the school closing number. Instead, they receive an automated phone message triggered by the principal to tell of the glorious news directly to their home phone. But, imagine having four snow days in a row. It happened in Riverton in 1889.
The recent 14-15 inch snowfall may indeed give some of us symptoms of “snow fatigue,” but it was a minor nuisance compared to snowstorms with which Riverton had to bear during the years 1888 and 1889. In her “Yesterday” column in the February 1979 Gaslight News, Town Historian Mrs. Betty B. Hahle cited an 1888 Receipt Book of William F. Morgan in which it was noted that…”The Great Blizzard occurred March 12th 1888.” … “The second occurred Feb. 12 and 13th 1899. It snowed for 52 hours.”
Mr. Gerald Weaber reported in his November 2009 GN article, “The Fascinating Fitler Family” that during the March 1888 storm, drifts reached fifteen to thirty feet high along the riverbank. One subject of Mr. Weaber’s article, Dale Baker Fitler, was born in Riverton exactly nine months after the March 1888 blizzard.
Finally, this newspaper scan from The New Era newspaper reports that sleighs of all types made an appearance on Main Street on Friday, February 10, 1889 as the result of a severe snowstorm which cause a temporary food scarcity and closed school from Monday through Thursday.
From the newspaper account describing the town finding fun on Main Street after emerging from four days of being snowbound and the looks of joy on these skaters’ faces, I don’t think that these citizens of old Riverton suffered from snow fatigue.
I invite you to tell how you spent your Riverton “snow days,” whenever they may have been. – John McCormick, Gaslight News Editor