|By Bob Weaver|
2018 - HOW COLD WAS IT AT FROZEN, WEST VIRGINIA? Calhoun County has a great place-name for frigid weather - Frozen, on the edge of the Bear Fork wilderness.
Was it cold enough to freeze a well-digger's arse? Or to freeze the anatomy off a witches chest? Or something about a brass monkey?
Brian and Jan Hastewell have dutifully reported really cold temperatures from their narrow Frozen hollow for nearly 25 years, sometimes the temp below zero.
Hastewell, an Australian native married Frozen resident Jan Schartiger, have lived in the remote hollow for a number of years.
Frozen once had a post office and stores and was traversed by the early 1900s Bear Fork Railroad that hauled barrel staves to the Elk River.
Frozen postmaster William H. Hunt said in the 1930s, "Some very early pioneers came here on this creek and killed and skinned a buffalo and had to wrap up in the green skin to keep warm (from freezing to death). When the fire burned down the man had to be pulled out of the skin, nearly frozen and had to be thawed out."
In the last century, snow often remained on the ground from November to the arrival of Spring.
In 1899, a newspaper account said temperatures broke the record "so far as the recollections of men in this section of the country are concerned."
The Grantsville newspaper reported temperatures at Wiant & Barr's store, 33 below zero and at Huffman Hotel it was 30-1/2 degrees below zero.
"Several people in coming to court last Friday morning (1899) were pretty badly frozen. Some fellow came from Harrisville and froze his ears until they were as black as a Stetson hat."
"I.B. Starcher and a young Townsand both had badly frozen ears and Mr. Starcher also had a frozen foot."
"Attorney W.E. Powell had one foot so badly frozen that he was unable to ware a shoe or even to walk, great blisters raised upon his toes even worse than if his foot had been dipped in boiling water."