In case you needed a reminder that our climate really is changing, here’s a century-old news note from the Feb. 5, 1913 Kendall County Record’s “Oswego” news column:
C.I. Smith, with a force of men, are filling the ice houses with 14-inch ice.
Smith’s ice houses were located along Waubonsie Creek where Pfund Court crosses the creek today near the Pearce Cemetery just off U.S. Route 34. One of the low dams on the creek that have been removed lately by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, or rather the wreckage of it, was the dam behind which Smith’s ice was harvested.
This winter, the Oswegoland Park District has been monitoring the ice thickness on Briarcliff Lake, waiting for it to be 6″ thick so that it could be safely used by ice skaters. So far, it has gotten close to 6″ but has not reached it. So a century ago, ice was 14″ thick on Waubonsie Creek, with an actual flow of water, while this winter it’s been impossible to get a 6″ thick ice cover on a lake with no current at all.
Climate change? You betcha.