Remembering the blizzard of '67
January 26, 2007
Former Gary businessman Jim Henderson remembers the storm well.
"We've had many snowstorms. But nothing like that before or since," said Henderson, now 85.
"I burnt out the clutch of my truck trying to get home," he recalls.
Linda Newton remembers her father put a shovel on the front of his truck to clear streets in Lake Station of snow.
"There was a lot of people stuck in their cars because it was a tremendous storm," she said.
"Dad loaded us all in the truck and we brought hot coffee, tea and blanket to them," Newton, now 57, said.
She said her parents also opened their home to some strangers.
"There was a lot of good memories even though it was a devastating storm," said Newton, now a volunteer at the Lake Station Food Pantry.
The family of Post-Tribune correspondent Charles Bartholomew ran a funeral home in downtown Valparaiso.
"By Thursday afternoon, it was obvious we were in for something big," he recalls. "The first snowplow passed my grandmother's house in mid-afternoon when the snow was still only ankle-deep, veering around her Rambler.
The next morning I couldn't open the front door to get the newspaper, and we didn't see another plow until late Sunday, after I had finished shoveling out the car, which was in up to the hood on one side ...
"On Saturday morning I took a snow shovel over to Boucher Gym at the high school in response to the superintendent's call for people to dig out the gym so that the basketball team could practice ...
"On Sunday I took a solo hike straight out Valparaiso Street and along the continental divide between Loomis and Flint lakes to the Edgewater neighborhood. At that time, Valparaiso north of Albert Street was unpaved, and the city plows had stopped exactly at the city limits ... I continued through thigh-deep snow all the way to Edgewater Beach Road, where almost everyone, it seemed, was out shoveling the roadway, all the way out to highway 49, where only one lane had been plowed and what traffic there was moved in fits and starts. Someone saw me walking toward town and offered me a ride, it took the better part of an hour to get back."
Jeffrey Ward, now chief of the Gary Fire Department, was working the 4 p.m. to midnight shift at U.S. Steel's Gary Works 40 years ago.
"When I left for work there wasn't a problem. But when I was leaving work the boss said we couldn't go because we were snowed in and had to stay at the mill."
Ward decided to leave anyway. "I walked in waist-high snow and it took me an hour to get home," Ward, who at the time lived in the Midtown section of Gary, recalled.
Jim Utter, 47, of Morocco was 7 when the blizzard hit.
"... I remember my father lowering me out the window so I could shovel the snow from the front door. I still remember all the cars covered by snow."