Winter on Wyoming Homestead Was Brutal

Snow on Wyoming homestead provided water, but the rest was extremely rough.

| Good Old Days

In the spring of 1910 my dad took up a homestead 10 miles south of Upton, Wyoming. It is the winter of that year I want to write about.

I guess you could say winter started August 28. Dad left for town from our Wyoming homestead that morning in his short sleeves and had to borrow a fur coat from the livery man to wear home. The storm was so bad he couldn't see the road, so he gave the horses their head and let them find the way. Usually a trip to town meant Dad would be home at 5:30 in the afternoon, but he didn't arrive until after 9 o'clock and was nearly frozen for he had been on the road since about 2 0' clock.

We had quite a bit of nice weather after that first blizzard, but when winter really set in, it brought hardships such as we had never seen before. Many horses and cattle died because the deep snows made it impossible to get feed to them.

The spring that supplied our water was snowed under, so Dad put a large barrel in the kitchen to hold water. We kept a wash boiler filled with snow on the stove. As the snow melted we poured the water in the barrel and refilled the boiler with snow.

Shortly after we arrived there the snow started. Dad managed to make it home the second day of the storm, but Mother, Sister, and I stayed until the third day when the wind blew itself out.

While we were away from home, the fire went out and our winter supply of potatoes froze. We couldn't afford to waste them, so we ate frozen spuds for a long time.

mother earth news fair 2018 schedule


Next: October 13-14, 2018
Topeka, KS

Whether you want to learn how to grow and raise your own food, build your own root cellar, or create a green dream home, come out and learn everything you need to know — and then some!