(From the Chippewa Herald-Telegram March 3, 1979)
When Irma and Vince Miller go downtown in Cadott, they are stopped and asked, “How cold did it get at your place last night?” Passersby have more than a slight interest in the answer. The Millers are the “official” weather recorders for Cadott.
They began their reports to the Cadott newspaper as an advertising gimmick for their feed mill. “At the time, the paper was asking for someone to record the highs and lows.
So, we thought we could do it and have it printed courtesy of the Miller Feed Mill. We reported the temperatures every day and for the last couple of years we have reported the rainfall,” said Irma.
The Millers sold the mill in 1969 and decided to continue reporting the weather. “In a farm community the weather plays a bigger part. You have to have the right weather, and so people are interested,” Vince said. “And the weather extremes are always interesting.”
They record high and low temperatures with two special thermometers stationed outside their living room window, facing the Yellow River.
Each thermometer remains at the high or low temperature until one of the Miller resets it.
People are also reading…
The temperatures are recorded in record books and reported weekly.
Their record book came in handy once, when the city wanted it for a court case concerning their ice preventative in the water. “There was something where then needed to know the temperature on a certain day for the trial,” Vince recalled. “So, they asked for our record book.”
Rainfall is measured with a rain gauge inside their kitchen window.
The rain falls into a funnel near their roof, and filters to the gauge. It is easily read this way, because an inch of rain appears in the gauge as being about tow inches deep. The markings on the side of the cylindrical instrument give the accurate reading.
Although they have been reporting the weather since 1962, Irma said she has never seen a winter like this one (1978-79). There was no way to predict it,” she said. This winter there were 59 days without a thaw, beginning December 24th.
There is usually a February thaw before this.
Each Saturday, the Chippewa Area History Center showcases a piece of local history in the Herald. The Area History Center at 123 Allen Street, Chippewa Falls has multiple rooms of displays about Chippewa County history and genealogy.
Visit www.ChippewaAreaHistoryCenter.org to learn more about the future Chippewa Area History Center, to be located on Bridgewater Avenue, and how you can help support local history preservation and education.