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February 24 1893/1993

Montrose - It is seldom if ever that Montrose has experienced two such blizzards as raged through this section the first of the week. The first one came howling along from the northwest about 8:45 o'clock on Sunday evening. The wind blew with tremendous force, sending the snow flying in great clouds that obscured the vision, and piling it up in immense drifts with inconceivable rapidity. The roads were blocked in every direction, and the only mails, which reached this place Monday morning, were via the Narrow Gauge railway and Rush stage. The L&M made no attempt to run trains but an engine and snowplow were sent up from Alford to clear the track. These became stuck in huge drifts at Heart Lake, so that they could move neither forward or backward, and another engine was dispatched to the rescue. After much hard work the road was finally opened, so that on Tuesday the regular 12:20 and 6:20 trips were made. Tuesday evening another storm set in from the southeast and after some six inches of snow had fallen the wind again veered to the north and played havoc with the feathery masses. Wednesday was the worst day of the season. The air was so full of flying snow that one could hardly see objects twenty feet away. The L&M managed to make one trip in the morning, but by noon the cuts on the road were again impassible, and no other attempt was made to run trains that day. Conductor Carpenter received word from General Manager Hallstead that he could send no help, as it would take all the force to keep the main line open. Thursday morning two engines and a snowplow, with a small force of shovelers, were sent up from Alford, and at 4 o'clock in the afternoon had reached Tiffany's at which point they ceased their labors for the day. Friday morning they returned to the battle once more and reached Montrose at 11 a.m. The Narrow Gauge made no trips between Tuesday night and Friday night. AND Article from Feb 24 1993  “100 Yrs Ago Montrose Independent: The following was written by Helen Lathrop [Mrs. Laurance] Thompson [1889-1984] who lived at Lake Montrose until 1938]: The winter on 1919-20 will be remembered by most of us at Montrose as "the winter the train got stuck." Snow lay on the ground from mid December till May [in patches] and built up steadily in a heavy blanket with roads and stonewalls covered and deep drifts. Toward the end of March came a slightly milder day, when a few Montrose people took the branch line which connected with the main line of the Lackawanna, for a day in Binghamton, to return that night. The following morning when our big farm team was able to take our milk to the creamery [the only team up the Snake Creek road for three days, as we were the nearest to town] Laurance drove on into the village to lay in some supplies. While there, a man stopped him and said the "train was stuck the night before in that deep narrow cut a couple of miles out of town." He alone had managed to walk in to get help, and asked Laurance if he couldn't use his big team and bobsled to go out and bring the people in. He said they were getting hungry and pretty cold, as fuel for the iron stove in the passenger car was nearly gone, and snow was blowing in around the windows in little piles, and there were one or two older people with them. Laurance said he'd get there if he could, drove back to the house to leave the supplies and get me to gather all the blankets I could and a bottle of whiskey, and started out. At first he could hardly find the train, for only the roof of the car was showing above the snow in the cut, and he walked down off a snowdrift onto the back platform. He called out: "Anyone want to go to Montrose?" and he said "you should have heard the noise!" Somehow the dozen passengers climbed over the drift and were packed into the bobsled, the horses turned, and they started for town. Because of the bitter wind one of the young women who had been shopping in Binghamton for her trousseau opened one of her parcels and passed out all the new bath towels to wrap around people's heads. So eventually they all got home, but the engine sent to rescue the train also got stuck, and a second one had to be sent before they could get it clear. Altogether quite a "doings!"

Harford - Uncle Dan took the mail to Gibson on Monday morning, during the blizzard. The air was full of blinding snow, and the temperature low, freezing one's face, if long exposed. He climbed Jones hill to Frank Felton's, and finding the road even full from wall to wall, turned about and took the Leslie road. With Alick's help he went through. We proposed helping him through over the hill, but the road would have filled faster than we dug.

Clifford - The Forest City bakery wagon causes many smiles from tired housekeepers as it drives up to the doors of the houses here and rings the bell with eatables from a first-class bakery.

Lenoxville - Mr. Van Etten was 79 years old the 14th of this month, and is able to do his share of the work yet.

Shannon Hill - The farmers' wives of Shannon Hill are rejoicing because the creamery is nearly completed. Any good butter-maker wishing a job in a first-class creamery call on the directors of Shannon Hill Creamery Co.

Birchardville - The icy season has caused a few-runaways. Wm. Babcock, residing a little north of this place, had occasion to come to Birchardville. In making a turn in the road the cutter overturned, the horse thinking it a good time to improve his speed, however, Mr. Babcock nearly stopped him. The cutter and some parts of the harness giving away he ran a lively race down the hill to Birchardville, where he was caught near M.L. Ball's store, seemingly none the worse for his rash exercise.

Compiled By: Betty Smith

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