STORM CAUSES INESTIMABLE DAMAGE IN GREATER NEW ENGLAND. BEAUTY OF ELM ARCH WILL BE RUINED FOR YEARS.
These headlines were not written during our recent storm, but rather described a devastating and widespread ice storm that wrought havoc at the Academy in November of 1921 as reported in the Phillippian. This earlier storm, which deposited an inch of ice on every exposed surface, reduced almost every tree in the “arch” of elms leading down the Great Lawn from the Addison to the OWHL to bare trunks. Only the thickest, most vertical branches remained. Also documented in the Archive is an autumnal storm that occurred in 1888 and devastated the Elm Arch. Elm trees, which lose their leaves late in the year, can be particularly vulnerable to damage during early ice or snowstorms, as was all too painfully on view this week. If you are interested in seeing historical photographs of the Elm Arch as it was before and after these adverse events, stop by to speak with Tim Sprattler, Academy Archivist.