Skip to main content

Litchfield photographs, Blizzard of 1888


Identifier: 00-2011-24-0

Scope and Contents

The Blizzard of 1888 photographs (2011-24-0) are two photographs of Dr. Buel's house on North Street in Litchfield, Connecticut taken after the storm. One shows the road near the house and the snow piles the other is a view of the front of the house with the snow almost as high as the roof of the front porch. Both photographs are identified on the verso. A description of the snow piles at Dr. Buel's can be found in the Litchfield Book of Days (1899), "The most remarkable drifts are at Dr. [H. W.] Buel's. One, a little west of the house, about 20 feet, to a level with the eaves. There is an addition on the west of Dr. Buel's house, reaching- about to the eaves, which is almost completely covered by the snow, so that our reporter, walking- along the top of the drift, passed completely over the roof of this part of the house, and down on the northern side. There is a drift on the east which is even higher, shutting up one of the library windows completely, and reaching nearly to the top of one of the large firs which form a hedge on that side of the house. — Litchfield Enquirer." The photographs were found in the home of Alfred and Jean (Peck) Smith and given to the Historical Society by the donor.


  • created: 1888
  • Other: Date acquired: 10/04/2012

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of this collection are in the public domain. There are no restrictions on use. Copyright status for other collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Biographical or Historical Information

Henry Wadhams Buel was born April 7, 1820. As the son of Samuel Buel, a doctor in Litchfield, Connecticut, and his wife Minerva, Henry was sent to the Litchfield Female Academy from 1829 until 1831 to study. He then graduated from Yale College in 1844 and received his M.D. from the College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City in 1848. He remained in the city as house surgeon in the New York Hospital until 1849, when he was appointed resident physician of Sanford Hall, a private insane asylum in Flushing, Long Island. After traveling in Europe, he returned to Litchfield in 1854 and established a sanitarium, the Spring Hill House for Nervous Invalids, in Litchfield in 1858. He was president of the Connecticut State Medical Society, the Litchfield Medical Society, and a member of the State Board of Charities. At the time of his death, he was president of the First National Bank of Litchfield. He first married Mary Ann Laidlaw of Brooklyn, New York in 1859. She died in 1864 and he then married her sister, Catherine Laidlaw in 1867. She died in 1882. He and his first wife had four children. Henry passed away on January 30,1893. The Great Blizzard of 1888 or Great Blizzard of '88 (March 11 – March 14, 1888) was one of the most severe recorded blizzards in the history of the United States. Snowfalls of 40-50 inches (102–127 cm) fell in parts of New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts and Connecticut, and sustained winds of over 45 miles per hour (72 km/h) produced snowdrifts in excess of 50 feet (15.2 m).

Note written by


2.00 photographs

1.00 folders

Language of Materials


Source of Acquisition

Joanne M. Potter

Method of Acquisition


Existence and Location of Originals

multi-part note content

Related Materials

Sarah M. Hopkins Kilbourn diary, 1888; Litchfield Historical Society photograph collectio


Litchfield photographs, Blizzard of 1888
Kathy Craughwell-Varda
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Litchfield Historical Society Repository

7 South Street
P.O. Box 385
Litchfield CT 06759
860-567-3565 (Fax)