Posts tagged ‘Big Blow’

September 15, 2011

Searching for Clues in 1913 Immigration

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

In Stanczyk’s last post I was pondering why my grandmother did not disembark in NYC, but disembarked from Philadelphia instead heading to Buffalo area by train.

So I brainstormed two possible explanations:

  1. Hurricane
  2. Dock Strike

Sorry my brain is tired these days I am sure there are even more besides the obvious, “Maybe she just missed her embarkation point in NYC.”

As the picture shows, a mild season, but Tropical Storm (#4 — no names in those years) may have influenced the ship crossing as it was in the same time frame. But coming from the south I would have thought it may have driven the ship to NYC, not to the more southerly Philadelphia in an emergency. So perhaps a hurricane is not the explanation. I will have to keep searching.

I guess it was Hurricane Irene that came by this season with its horrific floods in the north-east (and here in PA and NJ as well as the VT pics we have all seen) that made me think of and search for that. After I wrote the article I realized it is exactly 98 years today (9/15), since my grandmother arrived in Philadelphia.

In my searches, I also found out about the Hurricane of 1913 on the Great Lakes (called the “Big Blow”). Check out these Ohio Historical Society Newspaper pages. This may at least partially explain why my Aunt Kitty was born in Depew (St Augustine parish) in 1914 and not in Toledo, OH, as her next three siblings were. This “Big Blow” caused a blizzard,  wreaking havoc in Ohio/Ontario and eliminating chances to migrate further west (by train or Lake Steamship) for many months. Something like 250-300 men lost their lives upon 14 vessels that were lost on the Great Lakes during this EPIC storm of 1913. Even the trains were stranded and food left undelivered for a long time — causing food shortages.

I wonder if my KUSCHWANTZ (Toledo) blogger pal has any posts about that 1913 winter in Ohio. See my blogroll for Donna’s very well done blog about Polish genealogy in Toledo area.

On to the next possibility …

[To see what Donna from the Kuschwantz blog wrote, click on read more]

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