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Issue Date: January 2013


Erick Trickey

The Great Storm of 1913, Cleveland's worst snowstorm until the Blizzard of 1978, lashed the city beginning the morning of Sunday, Nov. 9, and didn't let up until Tuesday. The November gale sank more than a dozen ships on the Great Lakes and killed more than 230 sailors.

In Cleveland, 22 inches of snow buried city streets, and 60-mph winds blew out windows and downed electrical and telegraph wires. A horse was electrocuted in a tangle of wires on St. Clair Avenue. (The driver escaped by jumping from his milk wagon.) Telegraph and telephone service failed, cutting off Cleveland from the outside world. Streetcars became shelters for stranded commuters, but grew cold as they ran out of coal.

The streetcar line on West 25th reopened at noon on Monday. But by 2:30, when this photo was likely taken, the street was only half-cleared. West 25th at Vega Avenue, where I-90 crosses under the street today, was a German neighborhood then; the sign on the right reads "Dentist" in English and German. The streetcars ran through the night to keep the tracks clear, but the boy on the right had another idea for getting around.

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