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North Country Remembered 5,877

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This photo was taken a century ago, on March 28, 1913,after the March 27-28‘Great Ice Storm’ of 1913. This view looks up Market Street in Potsdam toward Massena at the intersection with Garden Street. According to the Potsdam Herald-Recorder, ‘deprived of power and light, of telephones and the telegraph, the North Country was a scene of isolation and desolation.’ The newspaper also reported that the storm’s‘like was never seen by anyone living, as far as we have been able to ascertain, and we have taken pains to ask some of our oldest residents.’ It was reported that the ice coating was more than an inch thick. Damage to the telephone poles alone was more than $200,000 (almost $5 million in today’s dollars) in St. Lawrence and Franklin counties alone, and the poles were not completely replaced or repaired until the following July. It is likely that the devastation of this storm was not surpassed until the infamous ice storm of January 1998. This photo is from the archives of the Potsdam Public Museum and was donated by Clifford Juen in 1978. It is one of a series of 43 photographs of the storm that were made into postcards. If anyone has any postcards from this series they wish to donate, please call the museum at 265-6910.

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