Saturday, March 11, 2017

Nashville's Great Snow, March 17 and 18, 1892

The Daily American, March 19, 1892

Nashville awakened this morning, March 11, 2017 to a sweet spring snow. Snow is no stranger to Nashville in March. Nashville weather records reveal that three of the top ten largest snows were in March. The largest one day total was on March 17, 1892 when 17 inches of snow fell. On March 18, there was an additional 4.5 inches of snow. Mark Rose of the National Weather Service tells the biggest weather story of that winter.

St. Patrick’s Day Snowstorm of 1892
Mark A. Rose
National Weather Service
Old Hickory, Tennessee

The winter of 1891-92 was almost one with no snowfall. Through March 14, a mere 0.3 inches of snowfall had been measured in Nashville, and it appeared that winter was over.1,2 There had been several days early in March with temperatures in the 60’s, and the thermometer had climbed to 70 degrees on the 4th.2 Sometime on March 13, a strong cold front swept through the region, dunking Nashville’s high temperature from 65 degrees on the 13th to 40 degrees the next day.2 Then, on the 15th, Nashville received a 4.2-inch snowfall — the largest by far of the season thus far.2 Much of this snow likely melted the next day, as the temperature rose to 39 degrees, and it appeared that a warming trend was underway.2 But this was not to be the case.

On St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, Nashville received the largest snowfall in its history — 17 inches — a record which still stands today. The snow began around 6:00 p.m. the previous evening.3 Very little accumulated until after midnight.2 The snow continued into the afternoon.3

Said a Nashville Banner article, which appeared on page eight on the day of the snowstorm, There has been much complaining, but there is consolation in the fact that the same snow that makes walking disagreeable, is enriching the wheat, fertilizing the land, and holding back the fruit until danger of frost is past. Over these things the farmers rejoice.

Nashville’s street cars had been “snowed under,” and did not run.3 Suburban workers had to walk to town.3 Morning trains were delayed.3 And the “arteries of trade” were clogged.3 Mailmen didn’t leave the post office on their rounds until 10:00 a.m.3 Many letters weren’t delivered until late afternoon.4 A freight train from Chattanooga ran upon a freight engine, derailing two cars, at the Winton community (near Murfreesboro), and did not get in until noon.3 A passenger train from Memphis due at 7:00 a.m. did not arrived until 2:00 p.m.3 And members of the Ancient Order of Hibernians in America canceled their annual parade.4

The Nashville Banner that day contained the following anecdotes: In the city the snow seems to be taken good-naturedly. A real estate dealer on Union street has “For Sale” on a huge pile of snow in front of his door, and all about town the snowdrifts along the sidewalks are labeled with such legends as, “Keep Off the Grass,” “Don’t Pluck the Roses,” “The Sunny South,” “Beautiful Spring,” “Come Into the Garden, Maud,” “Mosquito Bars Made Cheap,” “Linen Dusters at Half Cost,” “In Memory of Dixie That is Froze,” and “Where Are the Violets You Promised?”

In addition, the following conversation took place over the Associated Press wire:
Memphis Operator – The snow here is four feet deep.
Cincinnati – You mean inches, don’t you?
Memphis – No, it is up to a man’s knee.

So the winter that almost wasn’t concluded with 21.8 inches of snowfall, and with 21.5 inches of that accumulating in a single month, March of 1892 remains the snowiest month in Nashville’s history.1 The record 17-inch snowfall has been challenged only once. On February 20-21, 1929, Nashville accumulated 15 inches of snow during a remarkable 13-hour period spanning two calendar days.5 The next largest snowfall on record is 9.8 inches, which occurred on February 3, 1886.5
1 National Weather Service. Nashville Monthly Snowfall Table.
2 National Weather Service. Monthly Climate Summary for Nashville, Tennessee for March, 1892.
3 The Beautiful Snow. Nashville Banner. March 17, 1892.
4 O’Donnell, Red. Nashvillians made light of 16-inch snow in ’92. Nashville Banner. March 16, 1982.
5 National Weather Service. One-Day Snowfall Totals of at Least 6″ at Nashville.

Mark Rose, I hope you won't mind my copying your story here.  I am afraid it will disappear from the weather service website.  

Friday, March 10, 2017

Hayden and Brown Sanitarium

Found a photo on the internet the other day that was labeled Hayden and Brown Sanitarium.  The image was attributed to the Nashville Public Library. 

The photo that started the search. 1400 Broadway, Nashville Public Library.

The text under the photo said that the sanitarium was originally in East Nashville.  Any reference to East Nashville always piques my interest, so I was off on the hunt.  Drs. E. Forest Hayden and Daniel R. Brown opened a sanitarium in 1906 at the corner of Lischey Avenue at Marshall Avenue in Northeast Nashville.  

Southern Practitione, Volume 28. 1906
 They were located in a two story Queen Anne mansion, the former home of Judge John T. Allen.  The purpose of the facility was the "treatment of alcohol and drug addictions and diseases of the nervous systems." 

Hayden and Brown Sanitarium was located in this house on Lischey Avenue in 1906-1907

By September of 1907, the pair had moved the sanitarium to the former home of Dr. W. F. Gray, at 1400 Broadway.  The building had been remodeled and enlarged in 1906, under the guidance of local architect, Thomas S. Marr.  

Nashville City Directory, 1908.

1400 Broadway, Hayden and Brown Sanitarium.

 In 1909, Dr. M. R. Farrar, of North Carolina, purchased the interest of Dr. Hayden and the sanitarium was renamed Farrar and Brown Sanitarium. In 1910, still located at 1400 Broadway, Farrar and Brown dissolved the partnership. It was stated that Dr. Brown would take over the entire business and continue as before.  A notice in the Tennessean announced a name change to  Cumberland Sanitarium, with Dr. Brown named as medical director.  There did not seem to be any connection to Cumberland Sanitarium in Lebanon, Tennessee.  After 1911, Cumberland Sanitarium and Dr. Daniel Brown, disappear from Nashville.

A friend, Ronnie Ragan, read this story and picked up the trail of Dr. Brown and Cumberland Sanitarium, where I left off.  Ronnie is a kindred spirit, when it comes to local history.  The information he found is below.

Dr. Brown was enumerated twice on the 1910 census.  Following the dissolution of his partnership with Dr. Farrar, Brown is living at his sanitarium on Broadway in April of 1910.  He, likewise, resides with a Mr. Flavius J. Sanders Jr. of 439 Greenwood in Lebanon, Tennessee, where he is enumerated in May of 1910.  According to the census, Brown and Sanders are partners.
Mr. Sanders was the manager of Cumberland Sanitarium in Lebanon.  His former partner Dr. Power Gribble founded the sanitarium in 1905, under the name Cedarcroft Sanitarium.  Both Farrar and Brown in Nashville and Gribble and Sanders in Lebanon dissolve their partnerships in 1910.  The thirty-five patient facility in Lebanon and the sixteen patient facility in Nashville are then renamed Cumberland Sanitarium.  Dr. D. R. Brown is listed as the medical director of both sanitarium's in Polk?s Medical Register of 1910.    
Just how long Dr. Brown worked in both locations is unknown, but by 1911, he had moved the Nashville sanitarium from 1400 Broadway to 32 Rutledge, near Peabody College.  The new location had rooms for twelve patients.
Although Cumberland Sanitarium and Brown are listed at the Rutledge address in both the 1911 and 1912 city directories, it appears the Nashville sanitarium closed by the end of 1911 and Dr. Brown had moved to Memphis.  An advertisement for boarders, at 32 Rutledge, runs in the Tennessean in January of 1912 and, on November 28, 1912, Dr. Brown marries Miss Margaret Gertrude Townsend of Memphis. 
By 1916, Cumberland Sanitarium and Dr. Daniel R. Brown are in business, once again.  He has opened his sanitarium at 692 Alabama in Memphis.  The former home of James Sanitarium, which had relocated.  Memphis city directories show the sanitarium was in operation from 1916 to 1921, when Cumberland appears to have closed for good.  
The city directory of 1925 lists the 42 year old Dr. Brown as strictly a physician.  In April of that year, his 29 year old wife dies of brain cancer.  Dr. Brown lived another fourteen years, dying in his home state of Alabama on November 24, 1939.  He was 56 years old and left behind a 29 year old widow and two children under the age of ten.  
Cumberland Sanitarium of Lebanon burned to the ground on January 9, 1916.  It?s owner, F. J. Sanders, died November 12, 1960 at the age of 84.
After Dr. Gribble dissolved his partnership with F. J. Sanders in 1910, he moved to Nashville and reopened Cedarcroft Sanitarium on Murfreesboro Road.  Ironically, in June 1917 the following appeared in the Tennessean:  “DR. POWER GRIBBLE Announces the removal of his Sanitarium from the old Nashville Sanitarium property to 1400 Broadway.”  The move was temporary, however, as their final location at 1519 McGavock was ready to move into by November.  Dr. Gribble died there of liver and stomach cancer on October 10, 1927, age 53.

In addition to the above, below are some of the main newspapers searched:
The Tennessean June 24, 1910
The Tennessean January 7, 1912
The Tennessean January 9, 1916
The Tennessean January 10, 1916
The Tennessean October 11, 1927
The Tennessean November 14, 1960