September 28, 1921: Mosquitos help Park Department employee to predict a mild winter

On this day in Duluth in 1921, the Duluth News Tribune printed the prediction of a Park Department employee for a “late snow fall and mild winter, basing his prediction on the sudden re-appearance of mosquitoes which had turned in for the winter.” The man, reported to be 75 years old, made the prediction while swatting away skeeters as he worked a shovel along a path in Chester Park where “mosquitos were thick as the proverbial fleas.” On the other hand, the newspaper reported, the “Indians declare that the coming winter is to be exceptionally cold, basing their prediction on the thickness of fur of forest animals and the extreme care with which the beaver is building his nome for winter.” So who was right? Well, a blizzard in February 1922 buried the city, turning it into “a labyrinth of tunnels and narrow snow-banked lanes,” according to the Duluth News-Tribune. The Point had been hit hard, with snowbanks as high as trolley cars. To make matters worse, a cable had snapped on the aerial bridge, cutting Park Point off completely. The town’s fire chief, John Randall, worried that a fire on the Point would quickly become a tragedy. When the weather cleared and the bridge was repaired, one of its first duties was to transport a National Guard tank to Park Point to help clear snow. So, not so mild.

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