Picture yourself writing in your diary of a winter’s day by candlelight, while outside, the northwest winds howl, blowing snow against the door, a small barrier between you and the elements. The fire you made in the fireplace begins to loose the battle to heat your log home. You shiver with the fear that your ink might freeze under the harshest conditions you have ever experienced in your lifetime. You attempt to divert your wavering thoughts of the day when a burst of warmth breaks the icy grip to no avail.
Scenes like this were common among the inhabitants of central Illinois during the winter seasons of the nineteenth century. Throughout the recent decades, we have experienced the rage of winter’s wrath. To some of us, winter’s fury has been a major inconvenience, stumping transportation or an occasional power outage that disables the use of the Internet. Whatever the inconvenience, those before us had to struggle during the icy nights of central Illinois that we sometimes forget how difficult it was.
Explore with us the history of those bone-chilling nights when the skies unleashed the wrath of winter that defines An Illinois Winter.
The staff and students of Eastern Illinois University WeatherCenter are dedicated to educating the public about the skies above Illinois. In our first documentary film, EIUWC presents an interesting perspective on the winter that influenced the lives of those before us. "The Winter of the Deep Snow" in 1830-31 was one such winter that defined Illinois...its people and the struggle for survival against nature.
The film provides a picture of the prairie landscape, agriculture, culture, and the event that was the turning point in Illinois history. With the music and serene images of East Central Illinois, the film brings to life a time long forgotten in today's hustle and bustle culture.
The production is a work created by EIU students enrolled in the Broadcast Meteorology program in the Department of Geology/Geography and the Department of Communication Studies and produced by Tempestas et Caelum Productions.
An Illinois Winter was released on December 23, 2006.
Copyright 2006 Cameron Douglas Craig, Kevin H. Jeanes, and Chad Evans