Northwestern Indiana from 1800 to 1900A regional history written by Timothy H. Ball . . . .

Source Citation:
Ball, Timothy H. 1900. Northwestern Indiana from 1800 to 1900 or A View of Our Region Through the Nineteenth Century. Chicago, Illinois: Donohue and Henneberry. 570 p.






Along with its general, its church, and its Sunday school history Lake County has a weather record kept with more or less fullness of detail from 1835 up to 1900. It may be that other counties in the State have such records; perhaps they have not. This in Lake County was commenced by Solon Robinson; it has been kept up by members of the Ball family, and by Rev. H. Wason of Lake Prairie, until now. Whether it will be continued after 1900 ends is uncertain. Some extracts from it are here given. The full record would fill quite a volume. To some this will be of interest. For such it is here:

"1835. Winter mild until February; then exceedingly severe weather. 1836. A very wet summer. 1837. An excessively wet one. 1838. A summer of severe drouth and great sickness. The La Porte County record is: "The year 1838 is somewhat memorable as the "sickly season." "Bilious complaints were prevalent, and very few escaped. There were not enough remaining well properly to care for the sick."

1839. February and March warm and wet. April 3 gardening commenced. 1840. Winter mild. In February rains and fog, and, 29, very warm. March 25 and 26, plowing. 1841. Winter quite mild. 1842.


This winter of 1842 and 1843 called the "hard winter." Many cattle starved to death. Winter commenced November 17. William Wells of West Creek, perished with cold returning home
from mill at Wilmington in Illinois. February 18, sleighing good, forage for cattle scarce and cattle in many places dying. April 1, snow deeper than at any time before this winter, from fifteen to eighteen inches in the woods. 16 (1843), Alfred Edgerton crossed Cedar Lake on the ice. No grass for cattle. May 8. Vegetation but slightly advanced. Cattle barely find sufficient food. So ended, at last, 'the hard winter.'

Winter of 1843 and 1844, mild. 1884. Summer very wet. Winter of 1844 and 1845 unusually mild. Winter of 1845 and 1846 less mild but not severe. 1846. Summer very dry. Long continued hot weather. Very sickly. The summers of 1838 and 1846 are the two most noted for sickness in the annals of Lake. Among those who died in 1846 were, June 21, Ann Belshaw, at the Belshaw Grove, and, October 25, Mrs. Elisabeth Horton, mother of Mrs. J. A. H. Ball, at Cedar Lake. Winter of 1846 and 1847 mild. 1848, no special note. 1849, summer wet. High waters in July. Cholera prevailing. 1850, 1851, ordinary years. 1852. April 11, no grass, no plowing. May 1, cattle can live. 1853. Another backward spring. April 26, cattle can barely live on the grass. May 11. This is the fourteenth day in succession it has rained. The sun has not shone twelve hours during the time. Winter of 1855 and 1856 snowy and cold. Winter of 1856 and 1857 severe, with deep, drifting snows. 1857. Crops in the summer unusually late. No winter grain, rye or wheat, cut till in August, but the yield good. The crop of spring wheat was considered the best ever


raised in the county. Some raised forty bushels on an acre. S. Ames of Lake Prairie sowed three acres May 1, and gathered ninety-six bushels. Corn was sold for fifteen cents a bushel. 1858. A wet spring and summer. July 8 and 9, mercury 100 degrees. September 10, a splendid comet appeared; very brilliant for several weeks. 1859. A cold and backward spring. June 5, very white frost; 11, frost; July 4, light frost; afterwards hot; 12th, mercury 104 degrees from 10 a. m. till 4 p. m.; 13th, 104 degrees; 15th, 105 degrees at noon; 16th, 102 degrees from 12 a. m. to 5 p. m.; 17th, 100 degrees at 1 p. m.; 18th, 104 degrees at 1 p. m. 1860. Cold January. April 27, hard frost; June 1, light frost; August 10, 12, 14, light frosts. 1861. Cool summer. May 2, hard frost; 4, hard frost; 5, tornado, hail and rain; 30, white frost; July 2, light frost. 1862. March 20 and 21, snow fell for twenty-four hours. April 4, severe hail, stones larger than hickory nuts; 21, hard snowstorm; May 20, hard frost; June 9, white frost; July 19, severe storm. December mild. No sleighing. 1863. An open winter. Cranes and wild geese occasionally all winter. A cool summer followed. Frost every month. August 30, a hard frost that killed vines and corn; October 30, a snowstorm; 31, snow in depth three or four inches. 1864. January 1, known as the 'cold New Years.' Wind and snow. Mercury below zero 20 degrees. Intensely severe out in the wind. Mercury below zero 2, 18 degrees; 3 and 4, at zero; below, 5, 6 degrees; 7, 20 degrees; 8, 16 degrees; 9, 7 degrees; 11, 5 degrees. Cold till January 23, then spring-like till February 16. March 1 to 10, robins, blue-birds, larks and frogs appeared. In September frosts. In November Indian summer. In December mercury below


zero six times, from four to sixteen degrees. 1865. June 20, severe storm, hail, wind, and rain. July a wet, and mostly cold month. Indian summer again in November. 1866. A cold February. Mercury below zero on several days. 1867. Generally dry through the year, and quite warm. 1868. A steady, cold January. March warm and pleasant. July hot with frequent showers. Mercury at 94 degrees, 96 degrees, 15, 105 degrees. 1869. Trees loaded with ice. Wild geese appeared in January; February from 11 to 14, frogs, snakes, and larks as in April. The summer that followed was called the wet summer. The following is a more full record for January, 1869:

"The month just closing has been remarkable, in the county of Lake, for its even temperature, its amount of sunshine, its mild winds, its general, uniform pleasantness. No snow of any amount since the sheet of ice of the first week, and very little mud. Excellent wheeling, no rain, no storm, day after day, week after week. South wind, southeast wind, west wind, north wind, east wind -- still pleasant weather. It is said that such a January has not been experienced for some thirty years. For a winter month it has been truly delightful."

"Cedar Lake, having been covered with one strong sheet of ice, then again all open, can now, in the latter part of March, be crossed with loaded teams. Quite an unusual occurrence."

The following is another record: "During the year 1867 there was in our county one cloudless day, September 28th. On the 27th a speck of cloud was visible before sunrise, on the 29th one was visible after sunset. During 1868 no cloudless day was observed by a close observer. At Rochester, New York,


some years ago, eighteen such days were observed in one year, and thirteen in another. There are few such days at the south end of Lake Michigan; yet there are many delightful ones, the sky as deeply blue as that over Mount Auburn, and fleecy clouds as beautiful and lovely as float anywhere."

1870. January 12, wild geese appeared; mercury 45 degrees. May, July, and August, warm and dry months. October a fine month. Says a farmer, "Our best corn year." 1871. In January of this year were those remarkable days, commencing with rain and frost, and continuing so changeless, that gave us the most magnificent ice views, so far as records show, ever witnessed in this latitude. Commencing January 14, the sheet of ice continued over everything for two weeks. Immense damage was done to forest trees. Fruit trees were broken very much, but the injury to them did not prove to be serious. The winter scenery during those two weeks was indescribably grand. All the boughs of all vegetation were covered with ice that weighed the evergreens and smaller trees almost to the earth, and when the sun shone the brilliant crystals everywhere almost dazzled the eyes of the beholder. One evening, during those two weeks, the rays of the setting sun, with the redness of a glowing summer brightness, shone upon the tree-tops, and they flashed in that red light as though hung all over with myriads of rubies. Such a scene of resplendent beauty none here ever saw before. The temperature day after day was mild; very little wind; considerable sunshine; but the whole world around seemed bound in unyielding fetters of ice. It was like living in a fairy land, or in arctic regions without the cold and the darkness. Existence itself, amid such beauty, was a


great delight. But rare elements of the magnificent in nature seemed to be combined, when at length motion again commenced in the outer world. Then at midday, in the usually silent winter groves, the continuous roar of the ponderous, falling crystal masses, the breaking of loaded boughs as the wind began to rise and try their strength, the danger to which one was constantly exposed, were sufficient to rouse into excitement the dullest nature.

Between Crown Point and Cedar Lake the road was rendered impassable for days by an icy blockade; all our woods still show the marks of the giant power that was laid upon them; the like in our history was never known before. The ice sheet extended from Southern Michigan in a southwesterly direction into Illinois; its width being some twenty or thirty miles, and Crown Point lay near the center of its course. At Chicago snow fell to quite a depth instead of the rain which here froze at the surface of the earth.

In June the locusts came in immense swarms, keeping themselves mostly upon the forest trees. They were especially numerous in the woods north of Lowell; south and southwest of Crown Point; and in the eastern portion of the county. These locusts stung the timber, but no serious results followed.

In October strong winds prevailed. The summer was very dry, and unusual fires raged along the marsh and in the islands of timber. It seemed as though what the ice and the locusts had left unharmed, the fires were commissioned to destroy. The October fires of 1871, in and out of Lake, will long be remembered.

Although a very dry season, and many wells failed, and cattle suffered severely from thirst, yet the corn


crop was good, the oat crop was good, and grass was abundant.

1872. The winter commenced with no heavy fall rains and no mud. In January there came quite a fall of snow and a few cold days, but on the whole the winter was mild. Spring came, yet very little rain, no mud, no bad roads. Showers in the summer; very little rain. Vegetation grows, but cattle suffer, wells dry up, and it seems as though the fountains in the earth would fail. Since 1869 we have almost forgotten what a rain storm is or a muddy road. The summer of 1872 has proved an unusually abundant fruit season. The corn crop has been abundant, the oat crop fair, and the grass crop good. A late and pleasant autumn with but little rain and no mud. No bad roads since the spring of 1870.

December of 1872 cold; December 23, the mercury went to 30 degrees below zero at Crown Point. On Lake Prairie, it was recorded by Rev. H. Wason, Dec. 24, in the morning, 26 degrees below zero. 1873. January 29, below zero 24 degrees; March 9, wild geese; 10, blue-birds; 17, plowing began, July 4. The greatest fall of water for one hour and a quarter ever known in Crown Point; good boating on some of the streets. 1874. A quite mild winter, followed in Lake County by a dry summer; crops suffered from drought and bugs. There is a record of a severe storm of hail and wind that swept over Galena township in La Porte County August 15, 1874. What the weather had previously been is not mentioned, but probably hot and dry. Of the storm and its effects it is said: "Thousands of fruit and forest trees were uprooted or broken, fences were blown down, barns were demolished, and dwellings unroofed. The thunder kept up


one continuous roar, heard above the rushing of the mighty winds and the crash of falling timber. The lightning was one ceaseless blaze. Hail as large as pigeon's eggs came down in sheets and cut the standing corn in pieces. It commenced at about five o'clock in the morning, and never, since the first settlement of Galena, had such a storm, effecting such immense loss, visited the township."

1875. In January and February mercury part of the time below zero. July a cold wet month. Hay and grain damaged by rain and wind. December muddy. 1876. January and February mild and open weather; wild geese in January; March wet; very muddy; almost impossible to travel. December, good sleighing most of the month. 1877. Sleighing continued, making six weeks of unusually good going. February was pleasant; no rain or snow; roads dry and dusty; spring birds singing. In December plowing. 1878. First four months warm; April 20, peach, cherry, plum, crab and some apple trees in blossom; July, very warm; last half of December good sleighing; snow about a foot deep. 1879. Snow nearly gone last of January; again six weeks of good sleighing; March 1, robins; the year peculiar for its extremes of cold and heat, of wet and dry. 1880. January and February again warm; birds abundant in February; March muddy; May wet; June very wet; crops fair, prices good. 1881. January mild, dry for the last ten weeks; in February freshets; creeks high; October, November, and December very wet, also warm. This year noted for extremes. Very dry and very wet, very cold and very warm. 1882. January, February, and March and part of April, mild and even warm; May cold and wet; June warm and wet; July


cool; December mild; roads generally good. 1883. January very cold; February, a wintry month; March 1, spring birds; 16, about noon, a terrible wind from the north; a pleasant dry month; roads dry as summer; May rather cold; June, cool; August, cool; October, cold and wet; November mild and wet; December 5th was a remarkably pleasant day, like a May day. Pleasant, mild weather continued with those glorious displays of red light on the western sky after sunset and on the eastern sky before sunrise, which baffled the knowledge of the men of science. For fourteen days in December farmers were busy plowing, and then winter commenced. The sleighing was quite good. On Saturday morning, January 5, 1884, the mercury was below zero 28, 30, and some reported 32 degrees, being the coldest on record at Crown Point. The Crown Point record continues: January 30. Up to this date sleighing; now a January thaw; cold weather soon returned; on Tuesday, February 19, a blizzard came down from Dakota; the mercury went some degrees below zero in March; from December 15, till March 11, almost continuous sleighing; March 11, yesterday sleighing; this afternoon streets all mud; March 21, the air is soft and mild, almost like the atmosphere in a green house; some robins have come. Another record: 1884. January again a very cold month; 5, mercury 27 degrees below zero at night; February not very cold, but water high. Thus far it seems, according to two records, that the coldest mornings have been December 24, 1872, mercury 26 degrees to 30 degrees below zero, and January 5, 1884, from 27 degrees to 32 degrees below zero. May June, and July good months for the growth of crops; November quite a mild month. Indian summer


from November 19 to 23. 1885. January and February cold, the "winter unusually cold and abounding with snow; never since we have had railroads were such snow blockades known. One train of passenger cars remained at Crown Point from Sunday evening till Thursday afternoon, and on the Air Line Louisville road [passing through Lowell] the snow blockade was still more irresistible. The long and deep snow cuts on most of our roads looked like visions of the frigid zone. The constant succession of snow hillocks, or the pitching down and going up, on the sleigh road leading eastward from Crown Point on the only open road, was something never experienced here before. It was like driving over high and narrow frozen waves. To enjoy sleigh-riding over such a road was quite impossible. At times the mercury went thirty and thirty-two [degrees] below zero, on a Fahrenheit thermometer, the cold being again equal to that severe cold of December, 1872, and of January, 1884."

In the summer that followed lightning struck more frequently than usual near dwelling houses, and on one Sunday afternoon instantly killed Alexander Burhans, who was standing in his dooryard watching the storm cloud. One narrow sweep of wind passed across Eagle Creek making a total wreck of the large barn of E. W. Dinwiddie. It stood on open prairie in a very exposed situation.

1886. The winter of this year ended on Tuesday, April 6, with a severe wind and snow storm, and on Tuesday, April 13, summer heat, 76 degrees, began. 1887. From March to May unusually dry; wild strawberries ripe May 21, garden berries May 28. "Sunday, July 17, was noted for heat. For several days the


mercury had indicated more than blood heat. Sunday it was said to be in the shade
from 101 degrees to 104 degrees F. The heat in the air seemed like heat from a furnace. It was natural to think we had not felt such heat before. But July, 1859, was very hot." One extract more for this year. "Monday afternoon, November 21, 1887, was remarkable. The Saturday before a fierce storm had raged, a storm of wind and snow. The snow still lay on the ground Monday, but the atmosphere was that of Indian summer, the sky smoky, the sun at three o'clock as red almost as blood. Very little wind; mercury 38 degrees F.; at four o'clock the sun was hidden by the smoke; winter on the ground, Indian summer in the atmosphere."

1888. One extract: September 8. From report at Old Settlers' Association. "A few minutes before 6 o'clock last evening, with the sun of course near the horizon, a very glorious view was seen for a moment in the western sky as that sun, ever a glorious object on which to look, shone through and upon a mass of mountain-like clouds, gilding the glowing edges for a few seconds of two lofty summits that looked like mountain peaks, and then shining full through the huge mass of vapor, as though determined still to promise a sunny and pleasant morrow. After the disappearance of the sunshine a light shower came, and none need wish for a pleasanter September morning than was this morning of our thirteenth annual gathering, the close of fifty-four years of our occupancy of this soil of Lake." Twelve days of delightful weather in December. Much like December in 1883. Roads perfect, without dust or mud; no frost in the ground to prevent plowing for these twelve days.


1889. January 25. "So far the winter has been remarkable; so little rain and mud, so much warm sunshine through November, December, and January." February 6, "Wednesday morning, zero weather; ice gathering this week." "March 5, geese and ducks along the Kankakee Marsh; the winter, mild and dry as it has been, seems to be over; robins and blue-birds are reported; everything indicates an early spring." And spring did come early. Flowers in abundance in the woods by the middle of April; strawberries in blossom and some corn planted in April. Summer heat came in May; June quite a wet month; one strong wind east of Plum Grove blew down a barn belonging to J. Pearce; July wet month; August dry; the fall pleasant; December warm. It was said that winter wheat grew more in December than it had done in October. Christmas dry, warm; snakes were seen. 1890. The first part of January mild; children caught tad-poles and minnows; Tuesday, 21, came an intensely cold, west wind; 22, mercury 26 degrees below zero; icemen hoping for their harvest; 24, ice seven and a half inches thick; 25, icemen expected to begin work but warmth and mud returned; February 10, mud in abundance; March 1, mercury about zero; some ice from four to six inches thick put up the first week in March; April 23, strawberry blossoms opening; 24, dandelions in blossom. The last two weeks of June unusually hot; June 13, a severe thunder storm in the evening; some houses struck by the lightning; the hay barn at Shelby struck by the lightning and burned. October 10, some katydids still alive and "chirping;" November an unusually delightful month; December was remarkable; the roads during the most of the month smooth, hard, dry,


like summer roads without much dust; December 31, an April-like rain came, gentle, warm, delightful. 1891. Thursday, January 1, still warm, showers, sunshine, and a rainbow. The month continued unusually mild; good roads most of the month. February 1, cloudy, damp, mild. March, a cold, wet month; roads very muddy. For the first third of April roads almost impassable; very little sunshine for three weeks in March and April. After such a mild and open winter the usual spring time seemed very wintry. July was said to be the coolest that had been experienced for twenty years. September very warm. The season all through has been fruitful. Fertility, rather unusual fertility, has been the characteristic this year in the vegetable world. All crops good. Apples abundant. Potatoes abundant. From December 2 till Christmas farmers were plowing. 1892. Three weeks of quite good ice weather in January. On January 10, and 15, 10 degrees below zero. In February a thaw; roads muddy; February 5, Friday evening, Venus and Jupiter appeared in a clear sky at Crown Point almost in a right line with the earth. It was a beautiful sight. They seemed almost to touch each other. They were last in conjunction in July, 1859. A few evenings before there had also been a beautiful sight of which one in a Boston paper wrote: "The close approach of the new moon and the two bright planets, Venus and Jupiter on Jan. 31st and Feb. 1st was one of the most brilliant astronomical sights in the life of the present generation." February 13, Saturday evening, there was seen a magnificent display of the northern light or Aurora Borealis. It was remarkable for its general rich, red color, and for its evenness of display. Some of the


streamers were very bright. Monday 13, zero; from the 16, onward, mild, roads muddy; wild geese and ducks came 22 and 23; March spring weather with blue-birds and robins and larks. April cool, but flowers in the woods by the 15. The months of May and June very wet. The Little Calumet was a mile wide or more between Highland and Hessville. No record of such high water in June before. July a dry month. For productiveness the season in marked contrast with the last. The fruit crop almost a failure. Apples seldom so scarce. Potatoes and the corn crop poor. Hay a good crop. Planting time in the spring was very late. The autumn of this year very pleasant. December 26, mercury 8 degrees to 12 degrees below zero. 1893. January cold, snow, much zero weather. A good ice harvest; snow in the woods, Jan. 24, a foot deep; 15, 4 degrees below zero at noon. February, still cold; 7, 10 degrees below zero; 8, roads very icy; sleighing quite good till Feb. 25; a good winter for sleighing, an icy crust for weeks under the snow and few drifts. March variable, cold, snow, rain, mud. April 5, roads dusty; 7, mercury above summer heat; vegetation growing rapidly; 17, woods abound in wild flowers wet weather. May 1, quite pleasant; World's Fair opened; 5, ground very wet; 10, summer heat again; 11, a heavy rain fall; 15, dandelions in blossom; cherry and pear blossoms opening. June 10, a heavy rain fall; the last general rain for nine weeks; mercury some of these days above 100 degrees, but the nights generally cool, northerly winds prevailing. September 12, at noon, showers came again. (The summer of 1893, as was that 1892, characterized by freedom from severe storms; excellent seasons for building.) December 1, 5 degrees below zero; 4, at


5 a. m. on West Creek 18 degrees below zero; at 7, 10 degrees below at Lowell; at Crown Point 5 degrees below after sunrise. December 3, snow a foot in depth; the weather quite variable; 23-27 pleasant, mild; 28, farmers plowing; 29, a sail boat out on the lake after the ice had been seven inches. 1894. January 1, a spring-like morning; plowing continued till Jan. 7; 17, again plowing; roads good; 25, mercury 10 degrees below zero; another short ice harvest. February 8, heavy fog, rain, mud; 12, a snowstorm, wind northeast; quite a blizzard; at noon 24 degrees; snow very penetrating; sifting in everywhere; drifting badly; so severe the storm that of 73 pupils in the high school room at Crown Point only about 20 met the teacher in the afternoon; the wind very strong; at sunset the mercury still about 24 degrees; had the temperature been zero the storm would have been fearful; 13, at noon 32 degrees; the wind has ceased, the storm is over, drifts very deep, railroads blockaded; 17, a strong south wind; the snow all turning into water; 27, at noon 47 degrees; a caterpillar out on the sidewalk. March and April, mild; generally pleasant; April 16, spring flowers in abundance vegetation forward; May vegetation growing rapidly; 18, at noon a cold wind storm came
from the north; the Chicago papers said, a hurricane swept down upon that city from Manitoba; here the storm lasted four days; no such storm for several years; it swept over a large area of country in the far north giving sleighing. June warm and showery. July hot, rather dry. August dry; 11, rain; again dry, with a remarkably smoky atmosphere for nine days, the sun being visible but not shining, till September 3, when in five minutes the deep dust turned to mud as the wel-


come rain came; September warm; with some smoky days. October 14, a heavy frost; 18, Mars is now the attractive planet in the sky; it is in opposition to the sun, nearly, is high up at midnight, distant only 40,000,000 miles; not such another favorable view to be had till 1906; the frost did not kill flowers; 20, bees working as though the month was May. November 5, robins remaining and flowers still bright; 7, some snow. December 12, men plowing and ditching; pleasant till 27, then snow; 28, 5 degrees below zero. 1895. January at first mild, but ended with cold days, deep snow drifts, mercury several times below zero. February generally cold, snow and drifts; March ordinarily pleasant; 25, robins and larks reported; 29, a hot day, mercury up to 82 degrees. April 14, flowers; quite a little grass in the marshes. May 1, at noon 84 degrees; a glorious May-day; a remarkable season for the growth of vegetation; 21, a quite heavy frost; potato vines in some gardens killed into the very ground; they had grown rapidly and were tender. June hot, some showers. July 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, smoky air; 22, 23, 24, smoky; some showers few sultry nights all summer; a quite dry spring; no severe storms in the summer; this makes three successive, quite dry, and, for out-of-door work and enjoyment, very pleasant summers.

Thus far, our printed record has been followed; and for the last ten years the reports made to the Old Settlers' Association as published in pamphlet form have been followed, extracts having been freely made. The reports for the next five years are not yet published.

The report for the next year gives for this August of 1895 showers across the north and central parts of the county, but all the south part dry and dusty till


the 24th. August 26, a quite general rain; showers continued. September 7, the air cool in the groves, changing temperature, cool and then hot. September 18, last night one of the hottest of the summer; on the whole September a hot or warm month; Saturday, September 21st, said to have been in New York their hottest day, the hottest for the time of year recorded by the Weather Bureau; at 2 p. m. in New York 96 degrees; at Rochester 92 degrees; at Springfield in Massachusetts 103 degrees; at Brattleboro, Vt., 105 degrees; the hottest September in Iowa for twenty years; there have now been, in 1895, five hot months, unusually hot for
Indiana. No killing frost on Prospect Ridge in Crown Point till October 9th. Flowers bright, late beans in blossom until then. October 22, wild geese passed over Crown Point going south; robins not all gone; 31, about five a. m. an earthquake shock felt at Crown Point; at 9, 40 degrees; at 3 p. m. 44 degrees. A strange sensation produced by the cloudy air this afternoon, as though some convulsion in nature had happened or would happen. The result, perhaps, of the earthquake. In November changes. Indian summer and Squaw Winter, snow, ice, sleighing, and thaws; winter fully commenced November 19th. In 1842 it commenced November 17th. December not very cold, but part of the month very wet; 18, rain the night before; 19, a rainy night; 20, not such a fall of water for years; wet weather continued; 24, 44 degrees; pansies in blossom; 25, another very green Christmas; the grass is like spring.

1896. January 4, 10 degrees below. Ice formed. 10. For a few days ice, seven inches in thickness, going into the ice houses. Latter part of the month quite mild.


February mild till 17. Then zero. 18. Black snow fell at Crown Point; 19, 24 degrees below zero; 20, 10 degrees below; 21, 4 degrees below. Rest of the month mild. March, rather cold; 13, zero. April, quite mild, latter part hot. May, warm; 11, about summer heat; heat continued; 16, a thunder storm in the afternoon; between 8 and 9 o'clock a strong wind struck Crown Point, breaking down many trees, shade trees, fruit trees, and evergreens; 21, some strawberries ripe; 22, roses quite abundant; at 5 a. m. 62 degrees; 26, strawberries abundant and cheap; a wet May; quite a wet June; vegetation very forward. July 1, Currants nearly gone; considerable corn five feet high; new potatoes quite plenty; about two weeks earlier than in ordinary seasons; July 5, some peaches about ripe; blackberries in the gardens ripening; July 14, at 8:30, 84 degrees; 9:30, 88 degrees; 3 p. m. 98 degrees; 3:30, 94 degrees; July 15, at 5, 80 degrees; at 7, 86 degrees; at noon 76 degrees; 1:30, 72 degrees; at 7, 66 degrees: July 16, at 5, 60 degrees; at noon, 70 degrees; it seems from the papers that a fearful storm passed over Lake Michigan night before last; at Grand Haven, Michigan, the worst storm they ever experienced; no wonder the temperature here fell so much July 15th; July 19, a gentle, steady rain all day; much water fell; July 24, wet weather; a very wet week for July. The music or noise of the katydids began very early, about the middle of July. August quite hot and wet; August 6, probably hottest day of the summer; mercury up to blood heat; carpenters quit work; one man sun-struck and died; August 11, a heavy cloud, visible at Crown Point, swept across Lake Michigan about 7 p. m.; the rain reached Crown Point about nine o'clock; al-


most incessant lightning for two hours, extending, apparently, from the lake southward; heavy showers in the night; constant lightning; August 22, at 3 this morning quite a heavy thunder storm from the south struck Crown Point; lasted only about twenty minutes; the wind broke down some trees; this was in Chicago the most severe storm of the season. September was quite a pleasant, rather wet month; 6, some cherry trees in quite full blossom; 26, Bean vines not yet hurt by frost on Prospect Ridge. October mild and pleasant; 18, at 7 o'clock 30 degrees Feriessie; 29, robins seen near Lowell. In November some snow, some rain, some mud, some very pleasant days; 8, a robin seen. December a mild month. 1897. January opened with mild weather, and clouds and rain; mild till the 24th; 24, below zero 10 degrees; 25, 20 degrees; 26, 20 degrees; 27, 3 degrees; 28, 4 degrees; 29, 1 degree, and 30, 2 : degrees above zero; a cold week. February and March mild with many pleasant, sunny days. April mild with some rain and some quite windy days. May rather cool, with some warm, delightful days; 4, dandelion in blossom; 5, strawberry blossoms opening; 7-8, warm, sunny; mercury 80 degrees and 86 degrees. May was quite varied, cool, warm, showers; 31, a frost; fruit blossoms and some young fruit killed. June 5, summer heat; some strawberries ripe; 12, at 1 p. m., 88 degrees; at sunset, 76 degrees; 13, at 1:15, 96 degrees; sunset, 76 degrees; 14, at 10, 86 degrees; at 3, 95 degrees at sunset, 80 degrees; 15, at noon, 94 degrees; at 3, 94 degrees; 16, thunder showers, much lightning, heavy thunder, and a rainy night followed; hot weather and showers continued, with some very hot nights. July a hot month; mercury many times


96 degrees; 98 degrees; 99 degrees, and reached 100 degrees and 102 degrees; showers light.


Thursday, July 8, 1897, if not the hottest of our days, has certainly been very hot. The thermometer has been noticed at various hours and this is the record: At 5:30, 74 degrees; at 6:30, 79 degrees; at 7, 82 degrees; at 9:15, 92 degrees; at 10:30, 94 degrees; at 11, 96 degrees; at 11:20, 97 degrees; at 11 :30, 98 degrees, blood heat; at 12, 99 degrees; at 12:30, 100 degrees; at 1, 102 degrees; at 3, 97 degrees; at 5:30, 94 degrees; at 6, 94 degrees; at 7, 88 degrees; at 8, 86 degrees. And now, at 9 o'clock, it is still 84 degrees. Our record is that July 16, 1859, the mercury from noon till 5 p. m. was 102 degrees, and July 12th, 104 degrees from 10 a. m. to 4 p. m. July 4th of that year there was a light frost, but from the 12th to the 18th very hot.

First half of August hot; 18, a light frost in low places; Wednesday, August 25, Anniversary or Old Settlers' Day; a delightful day, cool, yet comfortable; sun bright and warm, but not very hot. September hot, 94 degrees, 96 degrees; 98 degrees; 13 at 6 o'clock, 71 degrees; everything very dry; 14, at noon. 98 degrees; hot nights; 16, some rain; 18, frost in low places. October warm and rather dry; 31, no frost on higher parts of Crown Point; flowers bright. November 3, some frost; 6, 32 degrees; rains followed; 11, some snow; 12, ground frozen; 24 degrees; 23, some snow. December quite mild and pleasant. 1898. January quite a mild and pleasant month; 22, snow; 23, heavy drifts; 25, rain and sleet. February 1, 5 degrees below zero; 3, 2 degrees below; rest of


the month quite mild. March mild; the winter quite mild or open; two short seasons of ice gathering, ten and fourteen inches thick, clear good ice. April pleasant; rather cool; fruit blossoms opening the last of the month, cherry and peach and others. May sunshine and showers. June also a growing month, showers and some rain; 24, at noon, 94 degrees; 30, at noon 96 degrees. July 1, 2, early in the morning, 74 degrees; 76 degrees; noon, 95 degrees; dry; 24, noon, 101 degrees; some rain. August 15, 16, rains, strong wind, generally pleasant month, warm, quite even temperature. September warm, rather wet. October warm with some wet days and nights; 27, 28 degrees; some ice. November mild, coldest mornings, 11, 26 degrees; 12, 28 degrees; 16, 28 degrees; 22, 20 degrees; 23, 10 degrees; 24, 10 degrees; 26, zero. December 8, 9, 10, nearly zero; 13, 14, zero; 22, 24, snow; 29, 44 degrees, noon, 50 degrees; snow nearly gone; 31, 10 degrees; light snow fell. 1899. January quite mild till latter part of the month; 4, 50 degrees, rain; 13, 42 degrees, some rain; 23, 38 degrees; 27, zero; Sunday, January 29, one of our cold days; at 7 o'clock 10 degrees below zero; at 10 o'clock, zero; at noon, 4 degrees; at 3 o'clock, 6 degrees, and then it went down; it was a bright, sunny day and not much wind; Monday, 30, very cold; at 7, 4 degrees below; at 7:30, 2 degrees below; at 8:30, zero; at 10:30, 1 degree; at noon 2 degrees; at 3 o'clock, 3 degrees; the highest in the day; about zero all day; January 30, zero; 31, 8 degrees below zero. February cold; 7, 4 degrees below; 8, 12 degrees below; at noon, 10 degrees below; 9, 22 degrees below; noon, 10 degrees below; 10, 20 degrees below; noon, 6 below; 11, 4 degrees below, and at noon 4 degrees below; a cold day; 12, 15 de-


grees below; 13, 8 degrees below; 14, 10 degrees; 18, 35 degrees, shower; noon, 40 degrees; 20, 21, showers; 22, 23, snow, 38 degrees; 25, rain. March, more mild, some snow, some clouds some sunshine; 7, 4 degrees; 11, 50 degrees; 25, 40 degrees; 30, 31, snow, 28 degrees. April, 13, 48 degrees; 12:30, 77 degrees; 17, strong wind; 23, 56 degrees; 1 p. m., 79 degrees; 30 flowers in the woods, fruit trees full of blossoms. May, 2, 3, 4, showers; 7, rain; 8, wet; 22, in the night a heavy storm. Latter part of May wet. June pleasant; a good amount of sunshine. July and August pleasant months. September 5 very hot, 98 degrees; 7, at 11 o'clock, 98 degrees; at noon, 100 degrees; at night rain; 17, 70 degrees; rain followed; 26, light frost. October quite warm, several Indian summer days; 29, 36; heavy frost. November, mild; some Indian summer days; 22, 54 degrees; 30, 40 degrees. December mostly mild; 12, 32 degrees, light snow; 29, 30, zero early; 31, 4 degrees ; noon, 16 degrees; some good ice harvesting. 1900. January and February were pleasant winter months. January 29, zero; 31, 4 degrees below zero; in some localities 6 degrees below. February 1, 6 degrees and 8 degrees below, light snow falls and some rain; 24, zero at 9 a. m., 4 degrees below at night; 25, about zero; 27, snow commenced falling at night. Snowfall continued all day; quite mild; a pleasant snow, but a heavy snowfall; about sixteen inches in depth, but drifted. March 1, 28 degrees; 5, 18 degrees, sleet falling all day, but not very rapidly; only a few inches; 6, 34 degrees; afternoon snowing again; the short thaw of March 4, 36 degrees, now over. The ice harvests for this past winter were three. The first commenced about the last


of December, the second the middle of January, the third the middle of February. Each lasted from one to two weeks. The ice was clear and nice, from eight to twelve inches in thickness. April 6, noon, summer heat; at 3 o'clock, 80 degrees; 9,10, 11, cool; 12, snow two or three inches; 26, wild flowers; 28, again 80 degrees. May 2, children barefooted; in general a warm and growing month; 27, at noon, 90 degrees. June, showers or rain quite frequent. Strawberries ripe June 2; raspberries June 27, 28, 29, hot; 30, cool wind all day; strawberries gone. July 2, rain at night; 3, a very hot night; 4, 5, 6, 80 degrees in the morning; 7, 76 degrees, and a shower at night; 11, very cool wind in afternoon; 15, rain in the night; 16, showers; 17, showers; 19, 20, 70 degrees in the morning; 21, 56 degrees; a growing, pleasant summer. Monday, July 16, the hay barn of John Pearce struck by lightning and burned; also H. Boyd's hay stack. 



Transcribed by Steven R. Shook, April 2012


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