So, the facts and figures have been determined. We had blizzard conditions for over 8 hours yesterday. And, Groton’s snow total was 21.5 inches! The wind chills were below zero every time I checked. I took pictures through the glass every once in a while, all the following are in order, but I can’t remember the exact times I took them.
Before it got too dark we opened the front door to take a couple of pictures of the garden. We had to push hard on the screen/storm door to move the snow out of the way.
The last time we had a blizzard like this was seven years ago on January 27, 2015.
Today we were hoping to go to the Essex Ed Groundhog Day Parade but it was canceled because of the storm and how long it will take to clean up the roads and parking lots. Sigh. It’s something fun to look forward to between the winter solstice and spring equinox! Maybe next year…
Instead, it looks like today we will try to brave the cold and shovel some snow off the balcony. I don’t even want to think about getting to the car, although it looks like the sidewalks were shoveled overnight.
Our nor’easter here in southeastern Connecticut has now been an official blizzard for the past five hours. The way the wind is blowing the snow into drifts it’s hard to say how many inches we have, maybe 14 inches so far? The snow is still coming down, fast and furious.
In the above picture, on the ancestors chair we have our two groundhogs waiting patiently to see what the sun will be doing on Groundhog Day. On the little stool sits Tim’s webcam which is providing a live snowstorm stream to our kids and his brothers, who have all moved far far away from Connecticut many years ago.
Notice how high the snow is on our little outdoor dining table!
Mount Vernon Cemetery in Abington, Massachusetts, is where my great-grandparents, Samuel Minor & Emma Flora (Atwood) White, and my 2nd-great-grandparents, Reuel Gardner & Louisa Jane (Atwood) Atwood, lie buried. I have many Atwoods on my family tree, with a lot of cousin marriages crossing the branches. Reuel & Louisa were half second cousins, once removed, both descendants of Nathaniel Atwood (1693-1767).
My 2nd-great-grandfather, Reuel Gardner Atwood, son of Reuel and Abigail Savery (Tillson) Atwood, was born 5 February 1833 in Middleborough (Plymouth) Massachusetts, and died 19 August 1908 in Henniker (Merrimack) New Hampshire. He married 26 November 1860 at Middleborough, Louisa Jane Atwood, my 2nd-great-grandmother, who was born 6 April 1840 in Carver (Plymouth) Massachusetts, and died 12 January 1928 in Abington (Plymouth) Massachusetts, daughter of Ebenezer and Waitstill (Lucas) Atwood.
During the American Civil War, Reuel, age 29, fisherman, enlisted for a one year term of general service in the Navy on 17 September 1862 in New London, Connecticut, on board the frigate USS Sabine, one of the first ships to see action during the war. He was 5’9 1/2″ tall, with blue eyes and dark brown hair.
Reuel worked as a box maker and a fisherman. Louisa was a homemaker. On 11 March 1888, Reuel & Louisa survived The Great Blizzard of 1888 that killed more than 400 people along the eastern seaboard.
After Reuel’s death Louisa was a widow for twenty years. When the 1910 census was taken she was living in Henniker, New Hampshire with her son, Frederick, and his family. By 1920 she was living with her daughter, Emma Flora, and her family at 170 Linwood St. in Abington. Her grandson, John Everett White (my grandfather), fondly remembered the wonderful mittens she knitted for her three grandsons. They had a new pair every winter. Louisa died of tuberculosis at the age of 88.
Louisa & Reuel were the parents of eight children, but only three survived to adulthood and the others are buried here with their parents:
1. Elsie Fremont Atwood, born 9 August 1862 in Middleborough, died there 25 October 1863, age 1.
2. Elbridge Lincoln Atwood, born 10 August 1865 in Abington, died 20 December 1878 in Boston (Suffolk) Massachusetts, age 13.
3. Frederick Reuel Atwood, born 28 December 1867 in Abington, died 4 February 1963 in Hillsborough (Hillsborough) New Hampshire, age 96. He married 31 August 1895 in Rockland (Plymouth) Massachusetts, Jane May Patterson, who was born 13 May 1873 in Wallace (Cumberland) Nova Scotia, and died 21 December 1966 in Manchester (Hillsborough) New Hampshire, daughter of Thomas S. and Anna M. (Greives) Patterson. Frederick & Janie were the parents of four children.
4. Eustace Lorenzo Atwood, born 2 November 1870 in Abington, died there 22 November 1880, age 10.
5. Emma Flora Atwood (my great-grandmother), born 5 January 1873 in Abington, and died 2 February 1955 in Foxborough (Norfolk) Massachusetts, age 82. She married 21 November 1902 in Rockland, Samuel Minor White (my great-grandfather) , who was born 7 July 1873 in Stonington (New London) Connecticut, and died 2 July 1949 in Abington, son of William Martin and Ellen C. (Hill) White. Flora & Samuel were the parents of three sons.
6. Amy Grace Atwood, born 17 April 1875 in Abington, died there 23 August 1877, age 2.
7. Samuel Ebenezer Atwood, born 10 March 1877 in Abington, died there 5 December 1880, age 3.
8. Everett Mason Atwood, born 26 November 1880 in Abington, died there 26 October 1971, age 90. He married 26 November 1902 in Abington, Alice Matula Merrill, who was born there 17 March 1884, and died 8 February 1976 in Weymouth (Norfolk) Massachusetts, daughter of Charles F. and Mary (—) Merrill. Everett & Alice were the parents of five children. Everett’s nephew was my grandfather, John Everett White, who was named in honor of his uncle.
Engraved on the back of the Atwood stone are the names of their daughter and her husband. My great-grandfather, Samuel Minor White, son of William Martin and Ellen C. (Hill) White, was born 7 July 1873 in Stonington (New London) Connecticut, very close to where I live now, and died 2 July 1949 in Abington (Plymouth) Massachusetts. He married 21 November 1902 at Rockland (Plymouth) Massachusetts, Emma Flora Atwood, my great-grandmother, who was born 5 January 1873 in Abington, and died 2 February 1955 in Foxborough (Norfolk) Massachusetts, daughter of Reuel Gardner and Louisa Jane (Atwood) Atwood.
When Samuel was about 12, he ran away from home because he did not get along with his stepmother. He would not discuss with anyone his whereabouts between leaving home and marrying Emma Flora, although his sons speculated that he probably went to sea. He had been told that his mother was dead, but I discovered that his parents were actually divorced and that his mother was living in the poor house of Stonington with two illegitimate children who were born after the divorce. Samuel was named after his granduncle, Samuel Minor White (1808–1894).
In 1901 Flora was working as a bookkeeper. She was working in Whitman, Massachusetts, where her cousin lived when she met Samuel. Samuel & Flora were married by Fred Hovey Allen, Clergyman. Samuel was a hard-working laborer and in 1905 was working in a box mill. Flora inherited the house at 170 Linwood St. in Abington, where the couple raised their three sons. She had a baby grand piano she loved to play.
In the summer of 1911, Flora & Samuel survived a deadly heatwave that killed more than 2,000 people in the northeastern states.
My grandfather, their son, remembered that the house had a huge elm tree with an oriole nest and a lawn swing. Flora treasured her bed of dark red peonies. The family always had one horse, one cow (sometimes up to three), sometimes pigs, chickens, ducks and rabbits. Samuel worked at a slaughtering house and at times slaughtered his own pigs. Each morning he left a list on the kitchen table of chores to be done by his sons, which weren’t always completed.
During the boys’ college vacations, a man came to cut firewood into stove lengths and all helped to stack the wood in the basement. Samuel also worked for a Mr. Dudley peddling ice. The ice was harvested from Mill Pond and the wagon served the city of Brockton. Sometimes the ice was harvested with horses. The horses pulled chisels which cut the ice, which then floated down the pond where machines pulled it up to the ice house. Sometimes a team of horses would slip into the water. Ladies would have to order the ice desired, and a meat cart came once every two weeks. My grandfather and his brothers would wait for the cart and a slice of bologna was often tossed out to them.
Flora & Samuel were known as Grammy & Grampy to their grandchildren. My mother spoke fondly of them, which is why I wanted to be called Grammy by my grandchildren. Tim didn’t want to be called Grampy, though, so he goes by Grandpa. Samuel died of colon cancer five days before his 76th birthday. Flora died of an ear infection and mastoiditis at the age of 82.
Flora & Samuel were the parents of three sons:
1. Earl Martin “Bob” White, born 5 December 1902 in Rockland, died 9 October 1965, age 62. He married in 1927 in Braintree (Norfolk) Massachusetts, Ruth Lois Tilden, who was born 20 October 1905 in Fairhaven (Bristol) Massachusetts, and died 7 July 1991 in Bourne (Barnstable) Massachusetts, daughter of Henry Edward and Ruth Ann (Crocker) Tilden. Bob & Ruth were the parents of two daughters.
2. John Everett White (my grandfather), born 8 June 1905 in Rockland, died 4 April 2001 in Dennis (Barnstable) Massachusetts, age 95. He married 30 November 1929 in Harwich (Barnstable) Massachusetts, Emma Freeman Thompson (my grandmother), who was born 8 June 1906 in Lynn (Essex) Massachusetts, and died 3 September 1996 in Dennis, daughter of Martin Freeman and Amanda Eliza (Hamblin) Thompson. John & Emma were the parents of two children.
3. Lincoln White, born 11 February 1909 in Abington, died 31 August 1993 in Monson (Hampden) Massachussets, age 84. He married 18 April 1936 in Colrain (Franklin) Massachusetts, Marjorie Elizabeth Cary, who was born there 14 January 1913, and died 5 March 2004 in Wilbraham (Hampden) Massachusetts, daughter of Herbert Francis and Elizabeth (Blagborough) Cary. Lincoln & Marjorie were the parents of two sons.
Tim and I revisited this cemetery on March 5, 2016. Our first visit was so many years ago, but now that I have a better camera I want to return and photograph as many family plots as I can, retracing our steps.
Come, ye cold winds! at January’s call, On whistling wings; and with white flakes bestrew The earth. ~ John Ruskin (The Poems of John Ruskin, Volume 1)
Blizzard Colbie gave us 22 24 inches of snow. I have been waiting for some decent snow this winter and it finally arrived. Zoë and I had a delightful afternoon watching the birds feeding in the snow on our balcony.
Tim sets up a webcam when it snows up here, so our kids in Georgia and North Carolina can watch the storm as it progresses. Nate, who has loved the color red since he was a baby, pinged me to let me know I had a cardinal out there. I already knew that, but it warmed my heart to know that he is still partial to all things red.
They still have not come to plow the parking lot of our complex and I’m wondering what the hold up is. Tim returned from doing some volunteer work at the Red Cross shelter and got stuck in the entrance to the driveway. Fortunately our very kind neighbors dug him out and created a parking space for him, too. All the neighbors’ cars are still buried.
Edit – the morning after – the final snow total for Groton was 24 inches! The town of Thompson got 33.5 inches!
Snow memories… Blizzard Charlotte keeps reminding us of Blizzard Larry, which stormed through Connecticut thirty-five years ago on February 6, 1978, when we also got 21 inches of snow. Our son was two years old at the time, and was already showing signs of the outdoor-loving guy he was to become.
Yesterday I kept thinking about these pictures and so decided to learn how to use the scanner today. Nate (we used to call him Nat, but his friends changed his nickname to Nate) moved to Georgia in 2011 and he very much misses New England and snow. Tim set up a webcam for him so he could watch the blizzard outside our kitchen window on his computer as the storm was in progress.
While flipping through the photo album I came across this picture of my sister Beverly and the swan she sculpted from a snowfall the year before, in the winter of 1977.
Connecticut averaged about 30 inches of snow, down here by the coast in southeastern Connecticut we got 21 inches. Below is the first peek out the door the morning after!
Our governor has banned all use of roads today – we won’t be going anywhere any time soon. Our neighbor’s son has been digging out his mom’s car and thankfully he will be doing ours, too! It’s heavy wet snow. The workers with the snow-blowers to clean off the sidewalks have not even arrived yet.
Relieved of shoveling responsibilities we decided to take a short walk. The wind is still blowing and biting. That’s me in the next picture, bundled up and ready to proceed.
We heard many limbs snapping off trees during the peak of the storm. These evergreens (below) behind our unit normally stand tall and straight. They are terribly bent over now by the weight of the snow…
After we finished checking out the back we decided to take a walk up the road, which is normally very busy with traffic. It would seem everyone is in compliance with the travel ban.
Returning home through the other end of the parking lot we found another evergreen between three other buildings weighed down by the snow.
Sadly, there was a terrible incident at our condo complex this morning. I heard a woman screaming and quickly went to look out the window. A small group of people had gathered around the woman but I couldn’t see what was happening because of the snow drifts. Soon a policeman arrived and our neighbor later informed us that someone’s dog had attacked and killed someone else’s dog. I was stunned. Tim later saw the policeman taking away a little body in a black plastic bag. Rest in peace, little dog…
There’s our neighbor (above) still working away at his massive shoveling job! We went back inside and had some hot cocoa, feeling a little guilty that we had not done any shoveling to earn such a delicious reward!