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Weather variations normal through generations

Ruby McFarland
Special to the Nevada Appeal

The weather has been kinda peculiar this fall but I can check back in my journals and see that it’s not unusual to experience good weather nearly all the way to Christmas. If it follows true to form, don’t be surprised if all heck doesn’t break out, too.

The first year I lived here I planted sod up to the middle of November. I also planted trees in hopes I’d be able to stand in the shade in a few years. Boy, what a surprise when it went down to below 0 degrees and stayed that way until late December. It froze my new trees right to the ground.

Now, I must admit that my journals do reflect that the winters have gotten warmer and we have suffered drought conditions. But it would not be too unusual, as Emma Loftus’ diaries reflect just about what mine do. She too, wrote of drought and then winters with more than usual amounts of snow.

One such winter with more snow than usual, and colder than usual, was the winter of 1932-33. It started on Dec. 12 at 20 below zero. She wrote that just about every car in town froze. Also whatever water was in town was frozen. It stayed cold through February, not always below zero, but it stayed in the single digits all that time. She said that it did warm up to 30 degrees sometimes, but most of the time it was just plain bitter cold.

During that cold spell, the folks in Dayton looked after one another. Chester Barton went up to Como to bring the men living up there down to Dayton. In those days, quite a few people lived up in the Como area. It seems that Como never was abandoned completely until WWII. Anyway, that was only one of a string of very cold and snowy winters that she recorded in her diaries.

I hope the weather runs true to form and we get a wet winter. I’m not too red hot about it being real cold, though. Our present financial situation in the U.S. makes it difficult to pay for too many cold days. Fuel bills are only part of the problem.

Emma wrote about the struggles of the people in Nevada during the depression and the cold winters didn’t help. The miracle was everyone survived the painful financial times and the depression and went on with their lives. Strangely, people were brought together closer than usual and worked at doing what needed to be done. It happens all the time when times are tough, folks get off their back sides and do something about it. It sort of levels the playing field and we all are in the same boat. We all know what it takes to get on with our lives, just do it.

The Historical Society of Dayton Valley: NO REGULAR MEETING in December.

The Dayton Museum is located on Shady Lane and Logan in Old Town Dayton. Hours: Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and Sunday, 1-4 p.m. Historical lectures 11 a.m., Saturdays. The Web site is daytonnvhistory.org. Group tours are available. Call 246-5543, 246-8382 or 246-0441.

– Ruby McFarland has lived in Dayton since October 1987, she serves as a board member of the Dayton historical society and a docent at the museum.