Guest Column/A Look Back at the Appalachian Blizzard of the Early 1950s | News, Sports, Jobs


“Turkey on the table is a must…a letter to the North Pole calling for Scrooge’s prize bird on Christmas morning from the Poulterer’s, window to be delivered and gifts for others nearly finished near gravy bowl.” Come with me if you dare, the spirits of old tell of the Ghost of Thanksgiving Past and the great snowstorm that hit the weekend of Friday through Monday, November 24-27, 1950. Harry S. Truman was President. Leftover turkey pie and pumpkin pie were enjoyed by more than 150 million Americans, and many of them lived in the Upper Ohio Valley. Known as the Great Appalachian Storm, it ranks as one of the most extreme weather events in United States history.

My father was home from the European battlefields of World War II, his resilience feeding the cows among the snowy fields (Job 37:9-19) that November on the dairy farm of Will and Maggie Traubert has been broadcast on the tales of the devourers of childhood and family. tradition, as well as the story of Grandpa Traubert, who had asked Santa Claus for a goat when he was a boy and named the animal John after his beloved relative (Judges 13:15). My dad’s grandfather, Wendell, with a white beard, was the Wellsburg baker who provided a meal when a hungry man riding the rails during the Great Depression knocked on the back door of his bakery and then gave the man his shoes. man who had none. A shocked wife named Agatha then asked her husband what happened to her shoes. (Job 31:32) Uncle Leo Traubert, the angel of the soup kitchen in Follansbee, told about a family who gave away their entire corn crop during the 1930s to feed the people of Follansbee and a teenager named Billy that unloaded the C-4 crop that grew in the drought (Isaiah 58:7). With the same love as the home stories found in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s book “Hard Winter” they are chronicles showing that my grandmother Margaret Magee Traubert was born on October 31, the year Wilder’s novel takes place.

Snowfall totals for the farm were never recorded, but in Steubenville, from November 24 to 28, 36.3 inches of white snow accumulated in three days. My grandparents house was in a valley on the Washington Pike, so the snowdrifts probably topped the height by more than 5 feet…a narrow line was run from the barn to the house to feed other animals during the struggle. There were shepherds living in the nearby fields, tending their flocks at night (Luke 2:8).

As for my winter memory, it seems to be from January 1964, as the Herald-Star headlines say. “Heavy snow covers the entire United States” and the next story talks about something about the closing of the school. I wish you a pioneer in deep snow and a lumberjack on your back biting the cold north wind. (Job 37:6)

I wish you a cape of snow, howling winds like the harsh winter of 1880-1881, when young women in bonnets wearing calico-print aprons dressed like Laurel Ingalls. The most famous Thanksgiving story of hers is the argument between Laura (with onion) and Mary (with sage) in season 2. It concerns the seasoning of the dressing/stuffing that is cooked inside the bird. The entire show made eyes roll as the late President Ronald Reagan described the long-running series as his favorite.

Happy Thanksgiving Day.

(Traubert is a Wellsburg resident.)



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