Five Photos that Prove Indiana Winters Were Brutal in the Early 1900s
The next time we get a batch of nasty winter weather, and you're ready to take to social media to complain about it, I want you to stop and think about this article. I want you to remember that no matter how frustrated you are with the weather, it could always be worse - and it WAS worse for people who lived in Southern Indiana 100 years ago.
It seems unimaginable these days that waterways like the Ohio or Wabash River could freeze to the point that they were impassable to boats, but that's exactly what happened several times in the early 1900s. So, what do you do when something like that happens? You grab your friends, family, and maybe even your dog, and you head to the river, either to free a stuck boat or to have some fun on the ice.
The Historic Southern Indiana Facebook page recently shared pictures of a few particularly brutal winters. The photographs, courtesy of the Don Blair Collection and the USI Archives, are from the winters of 1900, 1912, and 1918, when the Wabash River froze.
Here is a group of men and boys shoveling snow off of the frozen Wabash River in New Harmony. Notice the wooden shovel and the winter clothing (or lack there of).
Here we see a group of women and girls standing on a small cliff, looking out at the snow and ice covering the Wabash River in New Harmony.
Here is a group of men posing with their dogs on the frozen Wabash River in Posey County. In the background, you can see others cutting blocks of ice from the river and loading them into a horse-drawn cart.
One of many large boats that would get stuck on the frozen Wabash River. This photograph was signed by Homer Fauntleroy, a New Harmony resident and prominent photographer.
These pictures are not only an interesting glimpse into the past, but they are also a brutal reminder of just how tough life could be back then. So the next time you are feeling cold or inconvenienced by the winter weather, have a little perspective and be grateful you don't live in the early 1900s.
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Gallery Credit: Bobby G.