1866 to 1869 inclusive

(part of a search of the Trove newspaper database for 1837 to 1869).

By Miles Peachfield.

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Here's a summary of what I found, and below this summary are details of the newspaper records.

It seems there were no blockbuster snow events in this period. But there is clear evidence that the reporting of snow events was pretty minimal and generally not sufficient to assess the number and extent of falls.

A primary reason I've been searching for these early records of snowfalls in SA is to see if they will provide us with a means of assessing whether climate change may have reduced the number and extent of snowfalls since that early period of colonisation. My strong impression is that unless much more information about snow events is unearthed in letters and diaries and any newspapers not yet on the Trove database for the period 1837 to 1869 inclusive, we won't get sufficient information to directly compare the number and extent of falls then with more modern times.

But there is a saying "never say never" so we shall see what a combination of science and fossicking for more records can produce in the future.

1866 - I found a report of sleet in the Border Watch (Mt Gambier) in September - it doesn't give any locations but may refer to either the lower South-East or to Mt Gambier itself, and I found a report in the Wallaroo Times and Mining Journal (Port Wallaroo) of sleet on Tuesday 9th October, again without saying where it fell but it may refer to a place or district on Yorke Peninsula.

1867 - I found several mentions of what appears to be one snow event - a substantial one - on 23rd September 1867, at Mt Bryan and neighborhood and in or around the Flinders Ranges north of Port Augusta. I didn't find any mention of snow having fallen further south on that day, or mention of any other snow events in 1867. Here's a summary of what I found.

"Snow is the North.— ... on Monday, the 23rd [September 1867] ... a fall of snow took place at ... Mattawarringalla, about 40 miles east of Kanyaka. ... The snow remained on the hills the whole of the following day, ... We believe this is the first time that snow has been known to fall in this colony so far north." Mattawarringalla is very approximately 115 km ENE of Port Augusta.

"On the 22nd and 23rd September it rained incessantly at Moolooloo, and was succeeded by a fall of snow, which lasted two hours, covering the ground to the depth of nearly three inches." I quote a source: Moolooloo "... is approximately an hour North (70kms) of Wilpena Pound".

"The following is an extract from a letter received from Angorichina, dated September 24:—" You will no doubt be surprised to hear that last night at sundown it commenced to snow—real veritable snow—and continued for about six hours. The ground is covered to about the depth of two inches."" I quote a source as saying: "Angorichina Station is located 10 kilometres east of small outback town, Blinman in outback South Australia’s Flinders Ranges".

"Kooringa, October 2 [now Burra]. The weather continues very inclement. Last week a heavy fall of snow occurred at Mount Bryan and neighbourhood, where the tops of the hills presented the unusual spectacle of being covered with white. The cold was so severe that many shorn sheep perished, and the domestic stock—horses, cows, and poultry—congregated around the huts for shelter."

1868 - I found reference to two snow events for 1868, The first is: "Letters from the North, dated May 20, state that there has been a heavy fall of hail and snow, accompanied by rain, at Gum Creek." It doesn't say where Gum Creek is but it may be Gum Creek Station in the Flinders Ranges near Blinman. The second snow event for 1868 I found is "The first snow of the season fell at Kyneton on Friday night, July 3. It came down heavily and soon covered the streets and housetops so as to give the scene a very wintery appearance. The fall of snow extended a considerable distance up the country." Kyneton may be today's Keyneton which is near Angaston.

1869 - I found reports of two snow events in 1869 - in the Mt Lofty Ranges on Sunday 1st August, and on Saturday September 18th from Kooringa [now Burra]. Here is a summary.

On Sunday 1st August "... Mr. J. Cobbledick, of Mount Lofty, brought to our office a large lump of snow, the remains of a snowball weighing about one hundredweight, which one of his sons rolled together on Sunday morning between 9 o'clock and half-past. There was a beautiful snow shower at that time, and Mr. Cobbledick informs us that it is many years since a similar occurrence took place. Mr. Radford, of Bridgewater, also says that ... yesterday they experienced the heaviest snow storm that has been seen for the last six years.

SNOW-STORM AT GUMERACHA.—There was a snow-storm on Sunday for about half an hour at Gumeracha. The flakes were large, but as the ground was wet with rain they did not collect. The atmosphere was cold, and the wind piercing, giving a few "recollections of home."

"It is not often that the snow lies from an inch to a couple of inches deep in South Australia, yet such was the case on the Mount Lofty ranges on Sunday morning. Our informant (Mr. Arthur Hardy) descrbes it as being a very pretty sight. The sheaoaks were covered with snow to their very summits on the windward side, and the red heath-blossoms peeping above the snow on the ground contributed to make the scene as pretty as it was novel."

"MOUNT BARKER, August 5. There was a small snowstorm on Sunday and two smart showers of hail, which drifting into corners two or three inches deep, enabled youngsters to manufacture with celerity balls ... ".

"The Rain at Kooringa. — A letter from Kooringa, dated September 19, says:— " We have had a very dry winter. There has been very little feed, but we had heavy rain, hail, and snow all day yesterday [September 18th], which will make an improvemen for a while.""

I should note that if anyone wishes to use or quote any of the search results in this post, please do an independent check first by going to the Trove links I've given below and satisfying yourself that what you are going to use or quote doesn't have errors in it. I found this four-year period a particularly complex one for reporting the results of my search, and if I had my time again I would have searched and reported on one year at a time.

Details of newspaper reports of the snow events summarised above I found for 1866 to 1869.

1866

Border Watch (Mount Gambier, SA : 1861 - 1954) Wednesday 19 September 1866 Page 2.
http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/77132712

(Quoting the snow-relevant part of a longer article titled "Local Intelligence".)

"THE WEATHER.—The weather set in very stormy on Saturday morning last, and has continued so up to the present time. Indeed we have not had more severe weather during the winter than we have experienced during the past few days. Heavy driving rain, varied with sleet and hail, has been the order of the day, and whatever it may be for the country, for the "humans" it is anything but pleasant."

As this article was published in the "Border Watch "Mount Gambier, SA ..." and is titled "Local Intelligence" it seems likely it's referring to sleet that fell in Mt Gambier or at least in the Lower South-East.

Article identifier
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article77132712
Page identifier
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page7599637
APA citation
Local Intelligence. (1866, September 19). Border Watch (Mount Gambier, SA : 1861 - 1954), p. 2. Retrieved March 5, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article77132712

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The Wallaroo Times and Mining Journal (Port Wallaroo, SA : 1865 - 1881) Saturday 13 October 1866 Page 4.
http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/110103966

(quoting the snow-relevant part of a longer article)

"During the past three or four days the weather has been of a truly wintry character. On Tuesday night it was especially severe. It was bitterly cold, and rain—or rather sleet, for both hail and snow were mingled with the rain—fell in torrents. Some people are actually beginning to cry out to the watery element " Hold enough "—a strange thing to be recorded of residents in this usually dry district. The soil is thoroughly saturated, and if vegetation don't thrive it wont be for lack of moisture."

The item doesn't say where the sleet fell. As it was published in the Wallaroo Times and Mining Journal we can speculate that it fell somewhere on Yorke Peninsula.

Article identifier
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article110103966
Page identifier
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page10409971
APA citation
Wallaroo Times. (1866, October 13). The Wallaroo Times and Mining Journal (Port Wallaroo, SA : 1865 - 1881), p. 4. Retrieved March 16, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article110103966

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1867

South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900) Friday 4 October 1867 Page 2.
http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/39174898

(quoting the snow-relevant part of a longer article)

"Snow is the North.— from letters received by the Northern mail we learn that on Monday, the 23rd inst., a fall of snow took place at Dr. Davies's run at Mattawarringalla, about 40 miles east of Kanyaka. The fall began about 7 o'clock p.m., and continued till 8 o'clock. The snow remained on the hills the whole of the following day, and then melted, and brought down the Mattawarringalla Creek. We believe this is the first time that snow has been known to fall in this colony so far north."

Mattawarringalla is very approximately 115 km ENE of Port Augusta.

Article identifier
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article39174898
Page identifier
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page3952241
APA citation
BUSH FIRES PREVENTION BILL. (1867, October 4). South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900), p. 2. Retrieved March 6, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article39174898

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Kapunda Herald and Northern Intelligencer (SA : 1864 - 1878) Friday 4 October 1867 Page 2.
http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/108263559

(quoting snow-relevant part of a longer article)

"THE weather during the week has continued very tempestuous, both rain and hail storms having been of frequent occurrence; whilst the equinoctial gales have been disporting themselves in a manner more strong than pleasant."

Article identifier
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article108263559
Page identifier
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page10496416
APA citation
THE KAPUNDA HERALD. (1867, October 4). Kapunda Herald and Northern Intelligencer (SA : 1864 - 1878), p. 2. Retrieved March 24, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article108263559

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South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900) Saturday 5 October 1867 Page 4.
http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/39191506

(quoting the snow-relevant part of a longer article)

" KOORINGA.
[From our own Correspondent]
Kooringa, October 2.

The weather continues very inclement. Last week a heavy fall of snow occurred at Mount Bryan and neighbourhood, where the tops of the hills presented the unusual spectacle of being covered with white. The cold was so severe that many shorn sheep perished, and the domestic stock—horses, cows, and poultry—congregated around the huts for shelter."

Article identifier
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article39191506
Page identifier
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page3952026
APA citation
KOORINGA. (1867, October 5). South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900), p. 4. Retrieved March 6, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article39191506

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The South Australian Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1858 - 1889) Saturday 5 October 1867 Page 2.
http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/28801446

(quoting part of a longer article)

"Regarding the rainfall in the Far North, we are informed by Mr. Percy Wells that about the 17th September fifteen hours' heavy rain fell at Mount Margaret. On the 22nd and 23rd September it rained incessantly at Moolooloo, and was succeeded by a fall of snow, which lasted two hours, covering the ground to the depth of nearly three inches. On nearly every station the shearing is interrupted, and the losses of shorn sheep from cold are in many cases heay. The following is an extract from a letter received fromAngorichina, dated September 24:—" You will no doubt be surprised to hear that last night at sundown it commenced to snow—real veritable snow—and continued for about six hours. The ground is covered to about the depth of two inches."

According to http://www.moolooloo.com.au/ "Moolooloo is nestled 20km NW of Blinman and 30km NE of Parachilna in the heart of the Flinders Ranges along Glass Gorge Road. So about a half hour drive from both towns. It is approximately an hour North (70kms) of Wilpena Pound, an hour and a half North of Hawker and 6 hours (550kms) North of Adelaide". According to the source http://www.angorichinastation.com.au/location/ "Angorichina Station is located 10 kilometres east of small outback town, Blinman in outback South Australia’s Flinders Ranges".

Article identifier
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article28801446
Page identifier
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page2289206
APA citation
TOPICS OF THE DAY. (1867, October 5). The South Australian Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1858 - 1889), p. 2. Retrieved March 17, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article28801446

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1868

The South Australian Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1858 - 1889) Friday 22 May 1868 Page 3.
http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/31978434

(quoting the snow-relevant part of a longer article titled "TOPICS OF THE DAY")

"Letters from the North, dated May 20, state that there has been a heavy fall of hail and snow, accompanied by rain, at Gum Creek."

It doesn't say where the Gum Creek referred to is, but there is a Gum Creek Station in the Flinders Ranges near to and south of Blinman (approx north of Wilpena Pound), which may be a likely contender.

Article identifier
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article31978434
Page identifier
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page2281023
APA citation
TOPICS OF THE DAY. (1868, May 22). The South Australian Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1858 - 1889), p. 3. Retrieved March 24, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article31978434

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Border Watch (Mount Gambier, SA : 1861 - 1954) Wednesday 15 July 1868 Page 3.
http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/77165374

(quoting the snow-relevant part of a longer article titled "SUMMARY OF NEWS.")

"The first snow of the season fell at Kyneton on Friday night, July 3. It came down heavily and soon covered the streets and housetops so as to give the scene a very wintery appearance. The fall of snow extended a considerable distance up the country." Kyneton may be today's Keyneton which is near Angaston.

Article identifier
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article77165374
Page identifier
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page7602742
APA citation
SUMMARY OF NEWS. (1868, July 15). Border Watch (Mount Gambier, SA : 1861 - 1954), p. 3. Retrieved March 23, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article77165374

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1869

South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900) Tuesday 3 August 1869 Page 2.
http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/41393663

(quoting the snow-relevant part of a longer article)

|From yesterday's Evening Journal.]
FALL OF SNOW AT MOUNT LOFTY.—This morning Mr. J. Cobbledick, of Mount Lofty, brought to our office a large lump of snow, the remains of a snowball weighing about one hundredweight, which one of his sons rolled together on Sunday morning between 9 o'clock and half-past. There was a beautiful snow shower at that time, and Mr. Cobbledick informs us that it is many years since a similar occurrence took place. Mr. Radford, of Bridgewater, also says that the frost at that place is harder than has been known for years past. At the Bridgewater Hotel the ice has been thick enough to bear a man on it, and yesterday they experienced the heaviest snow storm that has been seen for the last six years.
SNOW-STORM AT GUMERACHA.—There was a snow-storm on Sunday for about half an hour at Gumeracha. The flakes were large, but as the ground was wet with rain they did not collect. The atmosphere was cold, and the wind piercing, giving a few "recollections of home."

Article identifier
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article41393663
Page identifier
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page3957329
APA citation
REAPPEARANCE OF MR. MONTGOMERY. (1869, August 3). South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900), p. 2. Retrieved March 23, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article41393663

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South Australian Chronicle and Weekly Mail (Adelaide, SA : 1868 - 1881) Saturday 7 August 1869 Page 7.
http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/92278599
The same story also appeared here:
The South Australian Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1858 - 1889) Saturday 7 August 1869 Page 3.
http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/31991927

Kooringa is now Burra. Quoting the snow-relevant part of a longer article. The Sunday of the fall is presumably August 1st 1869.

"KOORINGA, August 4.
On Sunday morning, for a few minutes only, snowflakes fell, but not to any considerable extent. The juvenile portion of the community generally were at a loss to know the meaning of what appeared to them a very strange phenomenon ; but, however, they were soon enlightened by hearing of the severe snowstorms and biting frosts which prevail during the winter months of England, and which cause such severe sufferings to the poor in the old country."

Article identifier
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article92278599
Page identifier
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page8395993
APA citation
KOORINGA, AUGUST 4. (1869, August 7). South Australian Chronicle and Weekly Mail (Adelaide, SA : 1868 - 1881), p. 7. Retrieved March 18, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article92278599

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The South Australian Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1858 - 1889) Tuesday 3 August 1869 p 2
http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/31991799

(quoting snow-relevant part of longer article "TOPICS OF THE DAY")

"It is not often that the snow lies from an inch to a couple of inches deep in South Australia, yet such was the case on the Mount Lofty ranges on Sunday morning. Our informant (Mr. Arthur Hardy) descrbes it as being a very pretty sight. The sheaoaks were covered with snow to their very summits on the windward side, and the red heath-blossoms peeping above the snow on the ground contributed to make the scene as pretty as it was novel."

Article identifier
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article31991799
Page identifier
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page2107397
APA citation
TOPICS OF THE DAY. (1869, August 3). The South Australian Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1858 - 1889), p. 2. Retrieved March 22, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article31991799

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Kapunda Herald and Northern Intelligencer (SA : 1864 - 1878) Friday 6 August 1869 Page 2.
http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/108265680

(quoting the snow-relevant part of a longer article)

"There have been some heavy falls of snow in the Mount Lofty Ranges."

Article identifier
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article108265680
Page identifier
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page10496800
APA citation
The Kapunda Herald. (1869, August 6). Kapunda Herald and Northern Intelligencer (SA : 1864 - 1878), p. 2. Retrieved March 21, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article108265680

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South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900) Saturday 7 August 1869 Page 3.
http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/41401381

Below I quote the two relevant snippets from a longer article.

Title of article: "COUNTRY CORRESPONDENCE"

"MOUNT BARKER, August 5. There was a small snowstorm on Sunday and two smart showers of hail, which drifting into corners two or three inches deep, enabled youngsters to manufacture with celerity balls, which coming violently into contact with the cheek produced a sensation somewhat similar to that felt from a brickbat."

"PORT ELLIOT, August 4. A decided change has taken place in the weather. It commenced raining heavily on Saturday evening, and continued with little intermission till Monday. A severe storm of hail fell on Sunday morning between 11 and 12 o'clock: fortunately, it continued only a few minutes, consequently but little injury was done. The nights have been piercingly cold; some early settlers say they have not experienced such cold weather for 12 or 14 years."

Article identifier
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article41401381
Page identifier
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page3957160
APA citation
COUNTRY CORRESPONDENCE. (1869, August 7). South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900), p. 3. Retrieved March 20, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article41401381

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Border Watch (Mount Gambier, SA : 1861 - 1954) Wednesday 11 August 1869 Page 3.
http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/77146473

(quoting the snow-relevant part of a longer article)

There were "snow storms" on the Adelaide side in the early part of last week, but they were on the " tempest in a teapot" scale. About an inch of snow lodged on Mount Lofty."
Article identifier
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article77146473
Page identifier
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page7600910
APA citation
SUMMARY OF NEWS. (1869, August 11). Border Watch (Mount Gambier, SA : 1861 - 1954), p. 3. Retrieved March 20, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article77146473

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South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900) Wednesday 22 September 1869 Page 2.
http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/41393359

(quoting the snow-relevant part of a longer article)

"The Rain at Kooringa. — A letter from Kooringa, dated September 19, says:— " We have had a very dry winter. There has been very little feed, but we had heavy rain, hail, and snow all day yesterday, which will make an improvemen for a while.""

Article identifier
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article41393359
Page identifier
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page3957420
APA citation
PRIVATE LEGISLATION. (1869, September 22). South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900), p. 2. Retrieved April 25, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article41393359


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