Reflections: Ohio’s big blizzard

By Evelyn Long - The Sentinel

I looked at the calendar and realized it was 39 years ago tomorrow, January 26, 1978, that the big blizzard hit Ohio. I remember it vividly.

Except for two years I have kept a daily diary since 1948, my sophomore year in high school. On January 25, I wrote that it had rained and turned to ice that day. The next day’s entry I noted “it is the worst blizzard in Ohio history and that everything stopped.” There was a state of emergency with 60 mph winds. Everything was closed even the grocery store in town. The next day “things still paralyzed.”

There were still high winds. The grocery store here in Cardington opened for a few hours and my husband and I delivered groceries to friends on the outskirts that we could get to by car. In several instances we took the food to a farm on one road we could reach and the family need- ing the food then walked across the field to get it.

An article in the Morrow County Sentinel recalling those days said it was a time of “helping your neighbors.” All Mount Gilead businesses were closed.

“The Mount Gilead police and sheriff were stopping all cars from leaving town.”

Trees and tree limbs, covered with ice, were falling on electric lines – causing outages The temperature dropped to minus 16 degrees. I wrote that my family played cards the entire evening “by lamplight.”

There was no radio or television without electric. It was four days later that the temperature rose to four below zero.

Oddly enough, my 1977 diary notes that on January 28, we “woke up to the worse blizzard in history.” I remember that we turned on our gas fireplace (there was gas but without electric our thermostat was not activated) and we shut the doors so that we could “camp out” in the living room for 24 hours. We even managed to heat water over that fireplace.

So for two consecutive years there were blizzards but the one in 1978 was state wide and most memorable, although the writer with the Sentinel notes that the following winter, 1979, was almost comparable to 1978!

I wonder how many remember those days. What a contrast to this year’s balmy temperatures, at least here in Ohio. I just pray that those blizzards in 1977-78-79 will remain as memories and that we never experience that again.

Looking back: 60 years ago, January, 1957: Mrs Frank Hartsook, Mrs. Lowell Murphy and daughter, Maeve, and Mr. and Mrs. Robert Akron and daughter, Mary, returned by rail from Washington D C where they attended the inauguration of President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Vice President Richard Nixon

50 years ago, January, 1967: The Wornstaff Inn was ready to open in the Hotel Wornstaff on the corner of West Main and North Marion. Mrs. Earl Shoewalter of Edison was opening the dining room which was located inrooms formerly occupied by Farrell’s Restaurant which had been closed for some time. The noon meals were to be served cafeteria style and regular dinners in the evening. The Cardington Rotary Club was moving their meeting place to the restaurant.

30 years ago January 1987: Cardington-Lincoln High School Principal Dan Marshman, announced the following students for the Principal’s Honor Roll. Pictured were Greg Perry, Becky Bauman, Eric Curts, Sherri Pace, Matt Hall, Brad Wears and Kevin Hickman.

By Evelyn Long

The Sentinel

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