The Cold June of 1816

From the Boston Transcript

"A few warm days!" How eagerly all classes looked for them in

that memorial cold time 66 years ago. It was called a dry season. but

little rain fell. The wind blew steadily from the north, cold and

fierce. Mothers knit extra socks and mittens for their children in

the spring, woodpiles, that usually disappeared during the warm

spell, in front of the houses were speedily built up again. Planting

and shivering were done together and the farmers, who worked out

their taxes on the country roads, wore overcoats and mittens.

In a town in Vermont a flock of sheep belonging to a farmer had

been sent, as usual, to their pasture. On the 16th of June a heavy

snow fell, the cold was intense, and he started away at noon to look

for his sheep. 'Better start the neighbors after me soon, wife," he

said, in jest, before leaving; "being the middle of June, I may get

lost in the snow."

Night came; the storm increased, and he did not return. The

next morning the family sent out for help and started in search. One

after another the neighbors turned out to look for the missing man.

The snow had covered up all tracks, and not until the third day did

they find him. He was on the side of a hill, with both feet frozen

unable to move.

A farmer, who had a large field of corn in Tewksbury, near

Lowell, built fires around it at night to ward off the frost; many an

evening he and his men took turns watching them. He was rewarded

with only one crop of corn in the neighborhood. Fears that the sun

was cooling off abounded, and all picnics wee strictly prohibited.