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Waking up in the Edmonton area today, we were greeted with temperatures hovering near 29 degrees below zero – not so unusual for January in Alberta! It always strikes me, when working with historical documents, how obsevations and comments about weather strike a truly common chord. As humans, we seem to have a need to discuss, comment (and in our case today – commiserate) about the weather! And observations about the weather abound in the Sam Steele family papers housed at the University of Albera’s Bruce Peel Special Collections Library. Sam Steele was a faithful keeper of personal journals and diaries, and almost without fail his entries begin with a short observation about the weather – fair or foul! In a previous blog entry I quoted from a letter  a teenaged Flora, Sam and Marie’ Steele’s oldest child, wrote to her father on his birthday in January 1909. Flora was writing from her home in Calgary to her father who was in Winnipeg, wishing him many happy returns for the day. In a later part of this letter, Flora writes this about the weather.

The weather was very cold yesterday, & today the cold is even greater. It is reported to be severe in the Yukon & Victoria. Edmonton is said to be extreme too.


Her comments about Edmonton ring so true today! Stay warm everyone – January is almost behind us.

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