Albert Lea in the snow

Published 2:48 pm Friday, December 29, 2017

By Linda Evenson

Photos courtesy of Freeborn County Historical Museum

Snow has brought beauty and created difficulty in the city of Albert Lea. In the past, like today, a fresh snow creates a beautiful scene for a relaxing, refreshing walk or maybe a sleigh ride. Children continue to find joy when playing in the snow.

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In February 1909, a snowstorm hit Albert Lea. It caused no property damage, but trains experienced delays, running four to 10 hours behind schedule. Winds piled the snow in drifts 7- to 8-feet high, covering the sidewalks on the east side of Broadway. The “west siders” felt good the drifts were on the east side for a change.

A two-day storm in March 1933 began as rain, turned to sleet, followed by heavy snow. The March 20, 1933, issue of The Evening Tribune reported, “Sunday morning, the business section of our city was a sight to behold. Buses, huge trucks, cars and wreckers completely jammed the center spaces to remain stalled the greater part of the day — while all along the parking places were cars and trucks nearly buried from sight by huge drifts of snow.” Fire Chief Larson was concerned the motorized fire engine might become stuck in heavier drifts, so the crew at the fire station rigged up a horse-drawn bobsled. They loaded it with a ladder, hose and other fire-fighting equipment. A team of strong horses stood in the station with their harness on, ready to go if the alarm sounded.