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Curling on the Columbia (1847)

Is there such a thing as global warming? Consider some of Clark County's weather back in the mid-1800s when settlers started arriving down the Oregon Trail.

The winter of December 1846 to January 1847 was one of the coldest ever experienced by the oldest settlers. Curling, a game that is similar to shuffleboard, was the county's first competitive sport, besides horse racing. The Columbia River froze at Fort Vancouver on January 26, 1847, and a curling match on the Columbia was held between the British officers stationed at Fort Vancouver and the Navy officers off a British warship. The Navy won.

According to National Weather Service records, the Columbia also was frozen during the winters of 1849, 1856, 1868, 1873, 1874, 1879, 1888, 1893, and 1909. A snowstorm lasted for 60 days in the winter of 1862. Twelve years later a cold snap not only resulted in snow and ice on the Columbia River, but froze oysters in Willapa Bay. And drifting ice was reported on the lower Columbia River back in 1930.

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Street address: 1300 Franklin Street, Floor 6, Vancouver, WA 98660
Mailing address: P.O. Box 5000, Vancouver, WA 98666-5000
Main phone: (360) 397-6012 | FAX: (360) 397-6015

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