The Great Blizzard of 1888

An article from the Feb 2008 Stereoscope:

Great Blizzard of 1888 Furnished Thrilling Experiences Both For Parents and Children By Sandra Slater

An early incident of pioneer history will show the present generation something of the conditions under which school sere started in that period, and will also show the great contrast with the educational facilities not existing.The first few families north of Bertrand, Nebraska felt they should have a school for their children so one was started. The only “building” available was a dugout five miles north of Bertrand. This dugout was on the land directly across the road west of Paul Lavene farm. Three families—those of H. O. Morine, Frank Bower, and another name Nylander—-furnished the children for this humble school beginning.One morning Mr. Moline started to take the children to school and on the way stopped for the Nylander children. He was using a sled, as it was in the winter and snow was on the ground. While he was stopped at the Nylander home, a younger child of this family, about three years old, who had often wanted to go along to school with the other children went unobserved to the sled and crawled in under the blankets. For some reason his presence was not discovered until they were on their way or until they had arrived at the school house. A storm was beginning that morning and by the time the party reached there it was rapidly developing into blizzard.Mr. Morine saw that he could not make it home and his only alternative was to remain there for the day. But there was no shelter of any kind for the team. As the animals were only ponies it was decided to take them into the school room. Remember this was only a dugout. There were two or three steps to the descent, and the ponies probably did not abject seriously to going to school when such a storm was raging outside. So the school room became a stable as well, and the ponies, the regular pupils, the little stowaway, together with the teacher and Mr. Morine, occupied the shelter until the falling day.–end

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