FARGO — In 1887 the then small, prairie town recorded its lowest temperature on record. 48 degrees below zero.
Hard to imagine that kind of cold in the present day. Just imagine 134-years ago, waking up to negative 48 degrees and no gas or electricity to keep you warm.
"I think about that all the time, every winter when we come upon this record," said WDAY meteorologist John Wheeler. "First of all, a lot of people lived down by the Red River in shanty shacks. The well built homes had coal, with coal furnaces but they were probably okay, maybe a little drafty. But think of those poor people in the country, many of them living in sod homes, some in shacks waiting for materials to build their homes."
Fargo was an infant settlement at the time. North Dakota itself was still two years away from statehood. So imagine those poor settlers enduring not just one day of freezing arctic temperatures, but a four-day stretch of incredibly cold weather. Three of those days had highs in the negative 20's.
There are actually missing weather records for the first five days of 1887, Wheeler said it is possible the temperature fell even further.