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100 Block of N. College looking north after the big snowstorm of 1913
100 Block of N. College looking north after the big snowstorm of 1913

"The Year of the Big Snow 1913-14"

Reminiscence of James Greenacre
Charlene Tresner, Interviewer, 1976

James Greenacre would have been born on his family's ranch if it had not been for the "big snow." It started in December of 1913, so James' mother, Ada Florisa Park Greenacre, and his father, Edgar Greenacre, left their older children in the care of an aunt at their log home on a ranch near Livermore and went to Fort Collins. Their new baby was to be born soon, and they wanted Ada to have medical care for the birth and for a week or two afterwards. Once his wife was safely settled in Fort Collins, Edgar went home, thinking that when the weather cleared he could come back to fetch his wife and baby. Soon after his son's birth, Edgar tried to return to Fort Collins by horseback but was forced back by the weather. He was finally able to get through by horseback in January but since a horse and buggy couldn't manage the drifts, he could only pay a short visit to his wife and son. It was late March before he could bring them back to the ranch.

James figured this was the "last really big heavy snow in this area. In depth, it varied from just over four feet to as much as six feet!

It was a general snow that extended to Greeley and Denver. James Greenacre saw plenty of big snows later in his life, including a seven-foot storm in Flagstaff, Arizona, but this is the snow storm he and his family remembered.

(The Greenacre's interview is nearly 100 pages long and contains many details about the Greenacre, Brollier and Watrous families and life in Fort Collins in the early 1900s. Find the complete interview in the Archive's oral history collection.)
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