CLEMMONS, N.C. -- Parts of the Yadkin River no longer flows along the border of Davie and Forsyth counties. The river is frozen solid in large sections because of our recent stretch of extremely cold temperatures. The cold wave got the Lowder family thinking, 'Has it been this cold, for this long before?' So they turned to an unusual source for weather research.
"It sort of surprised me to get the info," Tommy Lowder said. "It's neat to have it."
Tommy Lowder is the great-grandson of Jonathan Lowder. Jonathan Lowder was a Forsyth County farmer that recorded the brutally cold winter weather conditions of 1917/1918 into the family Bible.
"This is the only thing written in the Bible besides, births, deaths and marriages," added family historian Mary Katherine Lowder.
In the family Bible, Jonathan Lowder wrote that from December 1917 to January 1918 the temperature was between 10 and 6 degrees below zero. Plus the ground was covered by several snows. Lowder entries continued into February 1918. On Feb. 2, 1918, Lowder wrote "Raining, hailing, and snowing today." Some of those cold weather stories were passed down to Tommy Lowder.
"I've heard my dad talk about going to the river and sawing ice out and bringing it to the ice house at the home place and covering it with sawdust," Tommy Lowder said. "It would last them throughout the summer."
With our recent historic cold wave coming to an end, Mary Katherine Lowder thought this is the right time to share their 100-year-old weather log with others. And she is grateful that Jonathan Lowder logged the frigid weather conditions into the family Bible.
"I just think this is phenomenal that he thought this is so important to record it in the family Bible," Mary Katherine Lowder said. "It shows how unusual that winter was."
The Lowders will add our late December, early January cold spell to the family Bible.