In March. the grosbeaks flew from the pines and the hardbudded forsythia to a birdfeeder in a seeming endless flock, then blew sideways, like leaves in a gust. Pussywillows burgeoned by midmonth. At seven p.m. a full moon flooded over the woods above the Center Street bridge, huge as any in autumn. It spoke of summer—warm weather.
Then the snow fell in big wet flakes and the ground was heavily covered. People stayed away from the highways and close to woodburning parlor stoves until the plows went through. The month was the best time for snow. Cozy. Spring not really far away. But some.storms are more than intimate:
It was warm for a few day that March, 1888. Then the snow started to fall lazily. Three days later it stopped: the blizzard was over except in the records. It took 50 men several days to clear away the snow at the railroad station in Lee. During the storm all telegraph wires were down. The only communication between New York and Boston was by way of the Atlantic cables to Europe and back.
Meat markets and grocery stores in Lee were besieged. Many people laid in an oversupply of food expecting a famine, but within a week trains were again bringing provisions- Cut off by the snows weight, water supplies in the town dwindled. Two mills—Eagle arid Columbia—had to shut down. Frank Gross. a marble quarry owner. sent out two teams cattle The animals, with a snowplow attached and aided by a force of rnen with shovels, cleared Main, Street and opened the road to East Lee. In many places plows were impractical—the work had to be done by hand. At least four feet of snow had fallen, transformed into mountainous drifts by a raging wind in zero weather.
This is an excerpt from See All The People, pages 174-175, written by Florence Consolati, second printing. Truly, a well-written book of the second hundred years of Lee, Massachusetts. A great gift for graduation, Mothers' Day, Fathers' Day, and birthdays. See All the Peoplewas Town of Lee sponsored, very readable , 400 page text with 400 plus photos and a map. Still $15 soft cover and $25 hard cover plus mailing fee. Best buy in Berkshire histories. Yankee magazine recommended book. Call Steve Cozzaglio, Lee Historical Society President at (413) 243-3204 if interested in purchasing the book.