Sherburne History Center

Sherburne History Center
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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

More Snow

Okay, I stand corrected!  Last week I wrote that snow in April seemed odd.  Well, it turns out that snow in April in Minnesota is not so odd.  In just recent history, we have had some substantial snow fall in the fourth month of the year:

According to the Star Tribune newspaper, on April 15, 1983 the Twin Cities experienced 13.6 inches of new snow.  So that you can appreciate the great differences in the weather around the area, the Elk River Star News reported the snow fall was only 2 inches in Sherburne County from that storm.

Slightly more than one year later, the frozen precipitation was even more dramatic in its differences.  On April 30, 1984 the Star Tribune reported "almost 10 inches" of fresh snow.  The Elk River newspaper noted the limited precipitation, nothing frozen, in Sherburne County.

Well, the forecasters are predicting wet, heavy snow for tonight.  They are predicting maybe two or three inches.  The date is April 19, 2011.  I am anxiously waiting to see what happens in Minnesota in April in 2011.

Regardless of what happens,though, the weather continues to amaze me!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

It's April---Let It Snow, Let It Snow!

As you all probably have surmised, I am absolutely fascinated by the impact of weather on the community.  The blizzards, the tornadoes, the floods, and rain all generate interest and curiosity.  I have to wonder: how do all of these natural occurrences influence the character and history of Sherburne County?

Well, the date is 14 April 2011 and the weathermen are predicting snow for this coming weekend.  Nothing that will really stay around, but the snow storm will still be an inconvenience.

Looking back, I already know that snow is not unusual in Minnesota in April.  Going back more than a century, it seems snow is routine.  The Sherburne County Times in 1898 reported snow in the first week of April.  The fact that it snowed was not really news.  However, “two colts belonging to Jo and Will Clitty strayed in the snowstorm … and wandered into the yard of a Clear Lake farmer.”  When the farmer returned the colts he also presented the Clitty’s with a $6 boarding bill.  The newspaper concluded the small report with “This is neighborly kindness for you.”

The context of the newspaper suggests that snow in the Spring is common.  More than 100 years ago, the newspapers suggest that how neighbors deal with the snow is notable.  And, that is what makes the weather interesting. 

Okay, this is not snow from April, this is actually October 2010, but snow on the prairie is an interesting sight.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

What's Happening in Sherburne County History

1898--War was the dominant topic of discussion in the newspaper pages of Sherburne County in the first week of April 1898.  Nearly three weeks after the sinking of the U. S. S. Maine in the harbor in Havana, Cuba, men are rushing to volunteer to fight the Spanish and free Cuba from the imperialists of Spain.

In Sherburne County the sentiment is no different.  The Sherburne County Star News reported that men were anxious to enlist in the United States Army.  The Star News reported that twenty-nine veterans of the Civil War, members of the local G. A. R., offered their services to Governor David Clough as a unit ready to fight Spain. 

It is not known if the Governor took these men up on their offer.  However, more than 220,000 volunteered for immediate service in April and May of 1898.  In the ten months of the war, more than 300,000 men served in the United States Army against Spain.