This image seems timely considering recent weather in Duluth, but it’s actually from 1935. It’s an “Illustrated Current News” poster, published by the Marlin Co. The website bonanza.com is selling it for twenty bucks under the headline “1935 news poster: Duluth Minnesota snowstorm; Farnam family ice home.”
The caption on the poster reads something like: “The family of Clinton Farnam was completely isolated during a recent snowstorm … (then it gets hard to read) … they had to dig a tunnel from the doorway to the roadway, which (blurry again) … Photo shows family with friends just after they had evacuated themselves.”
So, this week’s mystery is less of a mystery than usual, but can anyone fill in the blurry parts of the caption and tell us more about Clinton Farnam, his family, and the snowstorm of 1935?
Here is the same Associated Press photo as it appeared in The Milwaukee Journal on Feb. 3, 1935.
Here it is again as it appeared in the Feb. 5, 1935, issue of the Reading Eagle of Reading, Pa.
And here it is one more time, as it appeared in the Feb. 2 issue of the Courtland Standard of Courtland, N.Y.
The text of the caption on this one, for those not wishing to squint or click on the image to see it larger, reads: “Engulfed under four or five feet of snow and drifts as high as 12 feet, St. Louis County, Minnesota, is digging itself out of one of the heaviest snowstorms in many years. Pictured above is a small dwelling completely buried in a drift, a few miles from Duluth. The owner, Clinton Farnam, had to dig a 20-foot tunnel from within to get out of his house when he awakened the day after the storm.”
The photo ran in papers across the country. Note the last one refers to the location as “a few miles from Duluth,” so we might be looking at a scene from a nearby township.