Had to Walk Home in the Snow

16-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Sunday, December 3, 1911: Went to Sunday School this afternoon. Coming home it was snowing and I was rather dubious as to whether my new hat would take it all right or not, but it did.

Source: National Climatic Data Center

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

It sounds like a blustery winter day. I found the weather data for December, 1911 for Williamsport, Pennsylvania on the National Climatic Data Center website.

Williamsport is about 20 miles northwest of McEwensville. According to the observation sheet, on December 3, 1911 the high was 46 degrees and the low was 31. It also indicated that there was a trace of snow  and that the wind was coming from the southwest.

The sheet said that there was 3 inches of snow on the ground—which seems somewhat surprising because the previous day’s entry did not indicate any snow on the ground.

Williamsport is across a mountain from McEwensville—so maybe the weather wasn’t as bad there as it was where Grandma was walking. But I wouldn’t expect there to be major differences in the weather between the two towns (and in general I think that it would be a little warmer in McEwenville).

I suppose that it really was just a raw day with some snow flurries—but that the mile or so walk between the church in McEwensville and the Muffly farm was pretty miserable (especially if you were worried that your new hat might get ruined).

6 Responses

  1. Very interesting. I went to the site but I can’t figure out how to find the date I want.

    • On the page that the link goes to, scroll down to “Most Requested B” and click on “Individual Station Original.” Then select the state that you are interested in. The names of lots of weather stations in the state will appear. Scroll down to the city you are interested in. Some cities are listed several times because there are different weather data series for that city. For example, Williamsport PA is listed three times. I wanted the series that included 1911, so I selected the one that said, “Williamsport 1895-02 -1977-09.” This means that there is weather data from February (02), 1895 through September (09), 1977. The next screen then lists the years and months. To get the original form that I posted, I selected on “1911-12” (December 1911).

      • Thank you! Those were great directions. I found it. I was looking for Thanksgiving 1991 and my memory is correct, 5 inches on the ground the day before and by the following Monday, none.

        • You’re welcome–I’m always happy to share. One of my favorite things about genealogy blogging is how everyone shares tips with each others.

  2. I just posted my findings about the weather on Thanksgiving 1991 on my blog Finding Eliza http://findingelizawms.blogspot.com/2011/12/thanksgiving-1991-idlewild-michigan.html and linked to this blog post. Thanks again!

  3. [...] Yesterday I was reading the post “Had to Walk Home in the Snow” on the blog A Hundred Years Ago. The blog is set up so that it always begins with a diary entry by Helena Muffy in 1911 and is [...]

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