The snow, which rode here on the crest of the great cold wave last Friday morning and fell without intermission for fourteen hours, accompanied by a blinding gale which seemed to turn liquid to solids with its touch, has hardly a precedent in this climate. Several thermometers reported the temperature at 100 degrees below zero Saturday morning, 100 degrees Sunday morning and 12 degrees Monday morning. Ice was formed on the ponds six and seven inches thick. Mr. Kirtly Twyman says that during a residence of fifty-eight years in Hopkinsville he has never witnessed such deep and extensive snow drifts and only one snow fall of equal depth on a level. The snow was dry and the wild winds whirled it about and heaped it in the drifts on all sides. It averages ten inches on a level. All travel by wagons or vehicles of any kind on the roads leading into town is cut off, with a few inconsiderable exceptions. For the past four days the fields of snow which spread over the highways for miles out are marked only by a narrow, straggling path, broken by a few footmen or riders. A cold, bleak blockade has locked up the country highways. The strongest teams are unable to pull empty wagons through the huge drifts which at many points have plied their icy barricades across the way. The older citizen has never witnessed anything like it in this locality. A few incidents will give a better idea of the depth of the snow drifts than any description.
Mr. Jack Lander started with a load of coal through the lane east of the City Cemetery, became entangled in a drift and was compelled to leave his wagon, after getting out his mules with difficulty.
Thomas Torian, a livery stable keeper of Cadiz, started a drummer to Hopkinsville Saturday morning with a driver in a light buggy and pair of heavy horses, by way of Wallonia. Near Cerulean Springs they were forced by the drift to abandon the buggy and ride the rest of the way on horseback. The same day a pair of horses belonging to Mr. Polk Cansler left Cadiz for this place. The driver, after a heroic and persistent effort to reach his destination, finally had to leave his buggy in Summer's lane, five miles from the city, and ride home.
Mr. Robert Burnett, Jr. left Cadiz Saturday morning for Hopkinsville with a horse and buggy. On Sunday about dark he determined to leave his team at the residence of Mr. C.F. Jarrett, a few miles south of the city and walk the rest of the way. He reached here that night nearly frozen and exhausted.
Mr. Murphy, a telegraph attaché, rode out Sunday morning on the Clarksville pike to repair the wires, and found a pair of large mules hitched to an empty wagon foundered in a deep snow drift five miles out, and unable to move either way. He left without hearing their fate. At another point he found a deserted buggy which told its significant story of a fruitless effort to fight the Arctic cyclone.
On the Madisonville pike a short distance beyond the city limits, is a drift of remarkable length and beauty extending along the road several hundred yards. On Saturday it had an average depth of four feet, increasing at several points to six feet and completely covering several panels of plank fence with its fleecy fields. The great drift here resembled a huge quarry of the whitest marble on whose blocks skillful, sculptors had carved ingenious devices with ready chisels. The spirits of the storm were the sculptors and the sharp winds were their chisels. At every fence post the snow was sheltered and undisturbed while between the drift was hollowed out with wonderful regularity, so that it resembled a long succession of smoothly rolling waves, whose snowy undulations had been frozen in a moment into the move graceful curves. The riotous winds had tossed and whittled the Southern face of the drift into countless fantastic forms crescents, pyramids, angles, curves, shelving rocks, precipitous caverns, carved buttresses embossed with roses and lilies of snow, and monumental drapery. It was an alpine glazier, in its wild and strange variety; a miniature Pompeii, not scorched and buried with volcanic flames and lava, but chilled by the north wind, and sepulchered in snow. It stretches from an adjoining field on the west, across the pike and challenges the stoutest team in the State to pull through it, until it chooses to relax its hold.
Mr. Roy Cayce, living five miles from the city on the Palmyra road, started for the city Saturday morning with a two horse empty wagon. About two miles from home he encountered a snow drift six feet deep extending half a mile along the lane, from Mr. Tribble's farm to the Forbe's place, and was forced to return, leaving his wagon.
Mr. Marcellus Garrett, living on the Clarksville road, reports that in many places the drift is above the fence tops, making it all but impossible to travel on horseback.
Mr John Evans, on the Palmyra road, has lost a large number of fowls and several hogs by the intense cold. Mr Charles Dade, living on the Canton road, describes the ride to town as swimming through snow.
Mr W.H. McRea, of
Pembroke, says the roads in the vicinity are so deeply buried under the
snow that people cannot travel at all.
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