Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Heat Wave of 1969, Captured by Jim Cheeseman

The scorching summer heat has made outdoor activities nearly unbearable for a few days now, and people are coping with the tropical conditions in a variety of ways. Late Saturday afternoon, families’ crowded tables at Betterton Beach, enjoying outdoor picnics while hopefully catching a cooling breeze from the Chesapeake Bay. Elsewhere people outside quickly scattered for whatever shade they could find and restaurants were crowded.

When Cecil County was hit by a tropical wave of heat and humidity over 40 years ago, Cecil Whig photographer Jim Cheeseman was out taking pictures for the weekly newspaper.  He caught this one  of a young-man attempting to escape the heat of 1969 by resting briefly in a self-serve ice-box at a business in the county seat. Elkton had a National Weather Service Observation Station from 1927 to 1976, by-the-way. H. Wirt Bouchell, the local weatherman, recorded the highs and lows every day for nearly 50 years and the highest reading he recorded in Elkton was 106-degrees on July 10, 1936.

We have thousands of Jim's photos so be sure to check those out when you visit the Society, as week by week he captured the happenings in Cecil County for the paper.

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