Breaking Up Severn Ice

History

January 28, 2007

It's cold now, but colder way back then, when a tugboat was the coolest thing on ice. A hundred years and two days ago, The Sun reported that the Severn River was frozen over in Annapolis.

On Jan. 26, 1907, the newspaper noted, "The ice embargo in the local harbor will probably become serious. For the first time this winter Severn river and the harbor are frozen over as a result of the recent cold snap and a mass of ice also extends far out into the Chesapeake Bay."

"The river was kept partly open by the Government tug, Standish, of the U.S. Naval Academy. A number of oyster schooners and other smaller vessels sought shelter in the harbor from the ice fields," according to The Sun. "Four schooners bound up the bay in the vicinity of Greenberry Point light were rescued from their plight by the Standish, which cut a way open for them."

This done, The Sun reported, the sailing craft followed in the tug's wake and came to dock safely.

[Sources: The Baltimore Sun archives, Paul McCardell, Sun researcher]

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