The Blizzard of 1888, from March 11 to 14, was quite a storm. The “Great White Hurricane,” as it was called, paralyzed the East Coast from the Chesapeake Bay to Maine. Telegraph and telephone wires snapped, isolating New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and Washington for days. Two hundred ships were grounded, and at least one hundred seamen died. Fire stations were immobilized, and property loss from fire alone was estimated at $25 million. Overall, more than 400 deaths were reported.
Even though we did not get as much snow here, it still had an impact. One report read “A gypsy family was completely snowbound at Red Hill, one mile north of King of Prussia in Upper Merion Township. Tryheni, 34th Queen of the Zut Tribe of Gypsies, her husband and children, were caught in the fierce storm. They pitched their tents with double supports near the Roberts Burial Grounds (across from present day 251 DeKalb apartments). For two days they could not leave their tents. In the 26 years of experience in Spain, Canada, and the United States, they have never seen a storm like this.”