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Marquette residents reminisce about 1936 heat wave

Andrew Norton

As I am writing this the thermometer is saying that it is 88 degrees down here in White Pigeon. According to it is currently 81 degrees in beautiful Marquette up in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Normally, Marquette's average high in July is around 77 degrees. The Marquette Mining Journal has an interesting article about some folks who lived through a worse heat wave in the summer of 1936. You can read it here.

Back in the summer of 1936 Marquette saw temps in the triple digits during one scorcher of a week that hit the entire United States. According to the Mining Journal -

From July 7 to 13, 1936, the high reached between 101 and 104 four times in Marquette, according to Kevin Crupi, meteorologist and climatologist at the weather service office in Negaunee Township. Places from Ironwood to Iron Mountain set all-time temperature records, while Newberry had it even worse, with six straight 100-degree days.

71 years later, residents that experienced that heat wave of historic proportions still talk about it. There's some interesting quotes for us young whippersnappers to read and think about. Remember, 1936 was during the depression and the luxury of air conditioning (or even fans) was pretty much nonexistent.

Here is my favorite quote from the article -

The heat of a summer so long ago makes [Sarah] Bottrell [a chipper 102 year old] question the whole idea of global warming. “How do you explain how hot it was in 1936, if it’s only getting hotter now?” she asks.

Also of note, even though the heat was unbearable most residents do not recall a lot of folks taking a dip in the icy waters of Lake Superior to cool off.

I'll stick to drinking ice cold lemonade and eating ice cream. I don't think a doctor could describe a better treatment for the heat than that ;).