Photo of the Week: Blizzard of 1888

[Horse-drawn sleigh, Flatbush Avenue and Clarkson Avenue], 1888, V1974.7.74; Adrian Vanderveer Martense collection, ARC.191; Brooklyn Historical Society.

[Horse-drawn sleigh, Flatbush Avenue and Clarkson Avenue], 1888, V1974.7.74; Adrian Vanderveer Martense collection, ARC.191; Brooklyn Historical Society.

I’ve been missing the magic of a Brooklyn snow fall during this unseasonably warm winter, but looking at this photograph, I’m reminded that I should be careful what I wish for. New Yorkers were reportedly experiencing similarly warmer temperatures and rain leading up to the Blizzard of 1888. No one suspected a four day blizzard in March, with high winds and roughly 40 inches of snow. The storm paralyzed transportation in the city and is considered one of the most severe blizzards in United States history. The photo of the week depicts a horse-drawn sleigh at the intersection of Flatbush Avenue and Clarkson Avenue following the Blizzard of 1888.

This photograph is from the Adrian Vanderveer Martense collection comprised of lantern slides and photographs taken by Martense during the late 19th century. Martense was a descendent of early Dutch settlers to Brooklyn and the Martense family were longtime residents of the Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn. Many of his photographs depict Flatbush, as well as other areas of Brooklyn. To view more photographs from this collection, including other images from the Blizzard of 1888, check out this gallery.

Interested in seeing more photos from BHS’s collection? Visit our online image gallery, which includes a selection of our images. Interested in seeing even more historic Brooklyn images? Visit our Brooklyn Visual Heritage website here. To search BHS’s entire collection of images, archives, maps, and special collections visit BHS’s Othmer Library Wed-Sat, 1:00-5:00 p.m. library@brooklynhistory.org

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