Before the blizzards of 2015 or 1978, there was the great blizzard of 1888 here in the Northeast. The blizzard hit 129 years ago on March 11, 1888. The blizzard, also referred to as the “Great White Hurricane,” was, and still is, considered one of the most catastrophic winter storms in the history of the Northeast.
According to the History Channel, in New York City alone, about 200 people were killed when snow totals neared 22 inches and winds reached 40 mph. Cities across the Northeast spared the same fate. Here in Manchester we received over 40 inches of snow! To make matters worse, snowbanks throughout the city measured 12 to 15 FEET! There were “snow drifts over the tops of houses from New York to New England, with reports of drifts covering 3-story houses.” About 400 people in total were killed during the storm. Many were tragically overtaken by the wind, snow, and frigid temperatures and froze to death.
The storm forced NYC and Boston to look underground for their subway and telegraph systems, as well as their water and gas lines where they still exist today.
Below are some wonderful shots of Manchester following the Winter of 1888. It’s seemingly one that is quickly forgotten in recent memory, but had a lasting effect on our region.
Thank you to the Manchester Historic Association for the great photos!