18 feet of snow fell inland, storm hit without warning
On this day in 1841 a hurricane which was unusually late and probably Category 3 or 4 by today's standards slammed into Cape Cod and the Islands without warning.
The "October Gale", as it was called, was the worst ever to hit New England up to that time. The storm raised havoc with the Cape Cod fishing fleet with 40 ships being washed ashore on Cape Cod and 57 men were lost from the town of Truro, Massachusetts alone.
This intense hurricane remained offshore of the Carolinas in early October. It moved northeastward, entraining cold air into its circulation. It became an extratropical storm, and hit New England on October 3. It led to a storm of snow and sleet in Connecticut, bringing drifts of up to 18 feet of snow in some areas. The storm wrecked the Georges Bank fishing fleet which drowned 81 fishermen and knocked down trees, tore roofs off houses and forced boats to go up on shore.
The storm also destroyed saltworks along Cape Cod Bay in Brewster and Dennis, sending the economy to a slump. In 1842, a monument was erected to remember the sailors and fishermen lost at sea to the "October Gale" of 1841.
Solar salt was produced during the 1800s in less than ideal climates, by building movable, covered sheds over the evaporating pans, protecting the salt and brine from precipitation. During the 1830s on Cape Cod there were 442 salt works.
On this day in 1882, the famous Protestant preacher, Henry Ward Beecher, aroused the glee of Cape Cod and Bay State Republicans by condemning the obvious. Our contribution to the Beecher bio is the following limerick:
The Reverend Henry Ward Beecher,
Thought the hen a most admirable creature.
The hen, pleased with that,
Laid an egg in his hat,
And thus did the hen reward Beecher.
The first paragraph of the story in 1882 is below.
AVARICE AND REVENGE.;
MR. BEECHER CONDEMNS THE MOTIVES OF THE SARATOGA NOMINATIONS, AND COUNSELS A REBUKE TO THE PARTY LEADERS.
The Rev. Henry Ward Beecher preached a political sermon in Plymouth Church last evening whose lessons will be endorsed by many Republicans in this State. After outlining the relation of politics to religion and insisting upon purity in one is well as in the other, he took up the political situation...
Those with a thirst for arcane, religious history can access the PDF of the original story here.