Think It’s Been Hot? The 1911 Heat Wave In Bangor Was Brutal
This summer has been a hot and sticky summer, no doubt. Between the above average temps, and the never ending humidity, this summer has certainly felt at times, like there is no relief in sight. It seems hard to believe, but about 100 years ago in 1911, there was a heat wave so bad, that folks everywhere throughout Penobscot County and beyond, were literally going a little bit nuts.
Back in April of that year, Bangor had already suffered through the Great Fire, which pretty much decimated the entire city. By summer, folks were barely into the re-building process when a heat wave settled in that last 11 days.
According to an article from the New England Historical Society, folks were doing anything they could to try and beat the heat. Men left their fancy coats at home, which was not the custom at the time. People had started sleeping outdoors at night, either on their roofs or out on their porches....anywhere they could find a tiny bit of relief.
In the morning, a lot of folks were hopping onto the trolley, and going all the way down to Hampden, where the trolley ended, so they could jump in the river for a swim. At one point, as many as 6000 people gathered at the end of the trolley line to take the plunge. Even people who were in the water swimming were occasionally overcome by heat stroke, with at least one person dying from heat stroke in the water! After 11 days straight, a thunderstorm finally brought temps back down to normal.
Back then, air conditioning was pretty much for the wealthy, and that's it. Today, we're a bit more prepared to deal with intense heat. But you know, even with all the modern technology in the world, it can still only make it bearable. As I write this, the AC in the studio is only meh. The heat always wins in the end.
The take away here, is that it could always be worse, and in this case, it has been worse. So even though it might be bit toasty in here, I know I'm not going to keel over and pass out. But maybe if I do, I can go home! Where I will turn on the AC, watch some bad TV, and go on the internet to complain about the heat.