A Keweenaw Winter

Excerpted from Robert D. Clarke’s, Notes From The Copper Region, published in Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, April, 1853.


"With the first fall of snow, affording the desired facilities for winter travel, begins among the residents of the different settlements, a round of social visits, festivities, and amusements, which are protracted till the snow leaves them as the sun enters Taurus. It is true that the snow sometimes decends to a degree quite adverse to locomotion, and there are some days of biting severity; but generally overhead, the eye of the day is bright and unclouded; underneath, the ground is smooth and slippery for the snow-shoe and the sleigh; while around is an air, keen, bracing and exhilarating even as the strength of racy liquors. Such at least is the effect of exercise in the winter air of Lake Superior, as I was informed by who, generally an explorer, has sometimes taken a turn at wood-cutting. The inexpressible elasticity and buoyancy of spirits which is produced in him, he could liken to nothing else but the effects of intoxicating drinks."

Some things never change! By the way, the sun's path enters the constellation Taraus on April 21st.)