Blizzard of 1913

The Blizzard of 1913 was the worst snowstorm in Colorado history. The Longmont Museum’s collection contains numerous photos of the storm and its aftermath, and a daily diary by a Longmont resident, Eben White, recounting his experience in the storm. Each day we will add to the story.

Eben White diary entry, December 10:

Zero in morning. Bright through the day but sun making but little impression on the snow and roads still impassable. Worked in the afternoon with Butler and C.H. Baker Examining the commandry books. Got a card from Ruth and wrote J. H. Wiest enclosing bond and Leases, for his and partners names.

Notes: Photo is of the snow at Boze’s Barn, 6th and Pratt St.

Eben White diary entry, December 9:

Zero in the morning but pleasant through the day but snow didn’t melt much. Went down town in the afternoon and to church supper in the evening. Wrote Ruth a letter and got a card from her.

Notes: Ruth is Eben White’s daughter.

Eben White diary entry, December 8:

Pleasant but cool air and the snow did not melt much. Still shoveling snow much

 of the time. Went down town in the afternoon. Pretty tired.

Notes: The photo at right gives a sense of the amount of snow that Longmont was dealing with during the Blizzard of 1913.

Eben White diary entry, December 7:

Pleasant but not as warm as yesterday. Therm. about 0 in the morning and cold to-night. Snow did not melt much to-day. C&S train went down but no train up. Roads still impassible. Raymond did not go to work yesterday or today. Went to church in forenoon. No service to-night. Shoveled a path through the snow on Schwable’s side. Went with D[illegible] to see Mrs Dawson.

Eben White diary entry, December 6:

Bright and warm. Snow melted & settled considerably. I shoveled snow all day again. Streets in bad condition. Very little travel, not a track through our street yet. Sugar fac. furnished Electric light for main streets stores but dwellings using oil & candles. No trains yet but snow plow went through this morn. “Times” and “Call” out to-day. Went to B[illegible] Lodge in the evening. Election and refreshments.

Notes: The Times and Call were newspapers, the predecessors to today’s Times-Call.

Eben White diary entry, December 5:

Snowed all night and all today until about 3:30 pm. Snow very heavy and causing [?] considerable damage, breaking down buildings roofs, poles, trees etc. It is so deep that no teams or horses can get about and walking is painful. Raymond sprained his knee coming in from the factory. I shoveled snow most of the day.

Notes: Photo shows the collapse of the Butler greenhouse at 3rd Ave and Kimbark St.


Eben White diary entry, December 4:

Commenced snowing just before daylight and snowed hard all day – turning into a blizzard towards evening. The snow is very wet, loading down and breaking trees, telephone and electric poles. Lights went out about 9:30 pm. Raymond had to walk in from the factory and was very wet and tired. Worked all day shoveling show for [illegible] and 2 feet of snow must have fallen.

Notes: Raymond is his son, and “the factory” is the Great Western Sugar Factory, where he worked as an engineer. The Whites lived at 420 Terry St, and the factory was east of town, almost a two mile walk.

Eben White diary entry, December 3:

Snowed nearly 2 inches in the night but warm through the day and melted considerably – Did more brushing snow in forenoon. Went down town in the afternoon. Went to commandry in Evening. Had an early turkey supper.

Notes: The “commandry” is probably the Grand Army of the Republic, or GAR. Eben White’s GAR photo is at left. It was an organization for Union veterans of the Civil War.

Eben White diary, December 2:

Pleasant throughout the day. Shoveled snow all the forenoon. Went down town in the afternoon and collected rents, paid bills, etc. Stella went to the Dickens Club at Mrs. Morse’s.

Eben White diary, December 1:

Snowed all day and quite a lot on ground. Did considerable sweeping. Still snowing to-night. Worked on books in afternoon and went downtown. Got letters from Cousin Fannie and John H. Wiest