Top News

The Telegram

WEATHER U: Century-old Herald clipping sheds light on Cold Friday

I was thrilled to receive this yellowed Herald clipping from Janet. She found this little treasure in the bottom of an old trunk.
I was thrilled to receive this yellowed Herald clipping from Janet. She found this little treasure in the bottom of an old trunk. - Contributed

I was thrilled to receive this yellowed Herald clipping from Janet. She found this little treasure in the bottom of an old trunk. A century-old Herald clipping sheds light on Cold Friday!

Just before Christmas I received a lovely note from Janet. No last name. Janet came across a sweet card with a snowman on it and knowing that I love snow, thought she’d drop me a line. She did more than that. Inside the small envelope was a newspaper clipping she found in an old trunk. 

The yellow clipping is in very good condition despite its age. Someone carefully clipped the article from The Halifax Herald on this date in 1917 – 102 years ago. It’s titled: This is Anniversary of Cold Friday

“HALIFAX , February 8. - This is the anniversary of the famous Cold Friday – the fifty-sixth anniversary. Watson L. Bishop, of the roads department of the Nova Scotia government, called this fact to the attention of the Halifax Herald last evening. 

“The Cold Friday” said Mr. Bishop, “was on February 8th, 1861. I well remember it. The mercury on that day dropped to twenty-eight below zero (-33 C) and the gale reached forty miles an hour (65 km/h). I was living in Cornwallis at the time, and remember that on the Thursday night before I was out in a rainstorm. It was raining hard at nine o’clock that night but before midnight, the wind hauled into the north and west and for twelve hours, the mercury kept sliding down. We had been having considerable cold weather during January and all the lakes were frozen over to a considerable depth. Bedford Basin was frozen and on Cold Friday, a pack pedlar who was crossing the Basin on the ice was frozen to death. There were a number of other fatalities in the province. The like has not since been seen in Nova Scotia.” 

I don’t have an address or phone number for Janet so I’ll thank her right here. That little yellow piece of paper sits on my desk and brings me great joy. It reminds me of a simpler time when people did clip interesting articles from the newspaper. It also reminds me of the importance of sharing our history: had Mr. Bishop not called the Herald with his memories of that day, would any of us know about it? 

If you come across an old yellowed newspaper in a trunk or a box in the attic or garage, read it to your children or grandchildren or pass it around at work.

We can learn so much from the past … let’s keep the conversation going!

Cindy Day is the chief meteorologist for SaltWire Network.

Related:


On a scale of 1-10, how likely are you to recommend The Telegram?


Recent Stories