Brrrr! There was more than an icy chill in the air when this photo was taken in the winter of 1947. Can't you feel that wicked wind whipping across the Public Dock? You would expect to see that kind of action out on Lake Erie, but not in the protected bay between the Presque Isle State Park and the foot of State Street. It looks like the dock is about to be submerged into the bay.
The eastern seaboard was pummeled by a three-day snowstorm from Thursday, February 20 through Saturday, February 22, 1947, causing at least 53 deaths. Erie native Marie Olsen took this picture at the Public Steamboat Landing during that storm. It's lucky that she didn't get blown across the ice and into the water by one of those gusts, which were recorded at 55 miles per hour in Buffalo, NY. Seven hundred and forty-eight flights were cancelled at La Guardia Airport over the weekend. Ten inches of snow fell in Pittsburgh. New York City and Washington, D. C. each got seven inches of snow. Some areas of Pennsylvania had drifts that were almost four feet deep, bringing travel to a standstill.
Many things have changed since 1947. The Public Steamboat Landing is now called Dobbins Landing. And you can now check the weather from the warmth of your home by checking out the local news or the Weather Channel on TV or the Internet (or TV on the Internet). But one thing never changes. You still need a parka, gloves, boots and a shovel to survive an Erie winter.
Enjoy more photos of Erie, PA, the Winter Wonderland, at: Old Time Erie