In January Ebenezer tracks the temperature, noting the days as pleasant even in the deep cold of winter. He notes traveling to “the River,” which was the Connecticut River where his wife’s Loveland family lives. Other friends and family come “to call.” They would have traveled in an open sleigh and it must have been very cold. His sons, Charles and William, spend a part of almost every day “chopping at the door,” a daily chore to keep the house warm. A January thaw breaks the ice, but with an average morning temperature of 0F that month, the rivers would have frozen again quite quickly.

Ebenezer Brown, January 1873

1 We hail thee new year, new and loveing friend

A pleasant day for cold winter
Ther. 4 below 0 in the morning & 10 at night

2 Ther. 10 below am and at 8pm 19 above the sky over cast… I carried Ellen and Wm wife to their Aunt Ellen Hs.
Charles & Wm thrashed the rye at Israel barn.

3 Warmer a Janry thaw has begun, a little misty rain part of the day & fog. Ther. has stood at 40 a part of the day.

5 Sunday a very stormy day. Ther. 26 to 36 above 0 A sort of hail snow. about 6 inches deep…

10 Very pleasant cold day…Ther. 10 below at morn & 10 below at 9 p.m.
C & Wm geting up wood.

13 Ther. 13 below at sunrise…grows moderate at 9 pm 23 above 0 wind south–a.m. C & Wm geting up wood and pm they helped GM Slaughter a beef.

16 Warmer, quite a thaw, Warm over night.

17 Thaw continues…brooks cleared of ice. cold at night.

20 Cold morn…I went to mill with corn. C & Wm choping at the door

9 Cold clear day. Wind N. Ther. 20 below 0 not rising to 0 at anytime. Very cold eve. Ther. 20 below at 9 pm…the coldest day and night of the season. GML & wife called this eve…

30 Very cold morn. Ther. 31 below overcast. Moderates p.m. Ther. at 9pm 5 above. Charles & William went to Hanover got a new globe for the lantern to replace the one that I broke a few nights ago at 75 cents.

31 Cold weather continues but not as severe…I am mending shoes. Charles & Wm choping at the door.

Chopping wood for the minister, ca. 1870

Alan Berolzheimer, January 2023

January Birds by Nancy Cressman

1 Wet morning. I’m up with granddaughter Selah at 6 am. 43 degrees, lots of dark, fast-moving clouds. High of 47 degrees, 37 degrees at 8:30 pm.

2 Cloudy and 34 degrees at 8:30 am. Nice sun from mid-morning through mid-afternoon, up to 48 degrees. More bluebirds visit today, and a flurry of other small songbirds. 38 degrees at 9:30 pm.

6 Lightly snowing, 35 degrees at 8 am. We get an inch over the course of the day. Temperature holds pretty steady. 35 degrees at 10 pm.

7 Overcast and 2 degrees at 7:30 am. Aviva, Mark, Selah, and the dogs return to Philadelphia after 2+ weeks. High today of 38 degrees. At 8 pm it’s 29 degrees. We got a little snow, big flakes, but it didn’t last long.

13 Light rain, a little fog, 36 degrees at 9 am. High today was 41. At 8 pm it’s 33 degrees. Turkeys here again today.

17 Sunny at 27 degrees at 7:30 am. Turkeys are here this afternoon—now 27 of them! High of 49 degrees in the sun. Still 35 degrees at 9 pm. I’ll note that the Connecticut River has been open most of the month, very little icing; also true of December.

18 Overcast and 35 degrees at 7:30. Slight dripping mid-morning. Not much rain, mild, high of 43 degrees. 38 at 10:30 pm.

20 2 to 3 inches of snow overnight. Light snow and 31 degrees at 8 am. Light snow all day, not much accumulation. Approximately 4 inches total. High 35 degrees. 33 degrees at 11 pm.

22 Gray, overcast, 29 degrees at 9 am. Another day with little variation, high at 31. Snow starts early evening. Snowing and 31 degrees at 10 pm.

23 A couple more inches of snow overnight. Light snow and 31 degrees at 8 am. By the end of the day we have close to a foot of snow. High at 34 degrees. At 10:30 it’s 29 degrees.

24 Overnight low of 24. 29 degrees at 8:30. Turkeys here for the first time in a week. High at 35. At 10:30 pm it’s 33 degrees.