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[p. 40]

Medford weather.

WE live in a region having a variable climate, and the same season in different years shows either great change or extremes of temperature. January, 1913, had a very light snow-fall, and has been put on record as being remarkably warm. The night of January 12, 1914, with high wind brought a drop in temperature and frozen water pipes that will not soon be forgotten by Medford householders. Two weeks later and spring conditions prevailed, reaching a climax on February 4, changing to winter and first real snow storm of the season at nightfall of the 6th. Today, February 12, 1914, Boston is experiencing the coldest day for eighteen years. New England is the coldest section of the country, and the thermometers in our city have registered from eleven degrees to sixteen degrees below, and a Boston paper gives credit for twenty-three degrees below, probably in the out-lying districts. For days the ground has been covered with a few inches of well-packed snow, furnishing ideal sleighing on the streets off the main line of car traffic, and the creaking of the teams gives evidence that it is winter in earnest.

It is many years since, in this vicinity, that travel by steam or electric car lines has been impeded by great drifts or deep, level snow, or that we have been housed up until roads or sidewalks could be broken out.

Old-fashioned New England winters are so often spoken of it may not be amiss to refer to an account of one in our town nearly two hundred years ago. This was published sixty-nine years ago. The author, then a man over eighty, speaking of facts communicated to him by his father, and of changes noticed by the latter, said:—

Mr. James Boies, father of the writer, was born in Ireland in the year 1700, and emigrated to this country when only six years old, with the family of his parents, and when a youth lived with a farmer in Medford, Massachusetts bay, who was in the practice of furnishing supplies to the Inhabitants of Boston, by the road to Charlestown ferry. [p. 41]

The first occurrence worthy of notice is the great change of climate in the winters of that period to those of more modern years, especially in the quantities of snow. I have heard him relate the following fact, to which he was a witness, and happened about the winter of 1715; the snow fell to an unusual depth, with much of drift, causing great distress to the then thinly settled inhabitants; among the number was a Widow, living in a one-story house with her children, who had her buildings situate on the road to Charlestown, called milk row, so deeply covered with snow that it could not be found for many days, until discovered by the smoke issuing from above the snow bank; her small stock of fuel was exhausted, and some of her furniture was also burnt to keep them from suffering, before the snow could be removed.

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