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Haywood, Carl N. (ed.) / Transactions of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters
volume 75 (1987)

Moran, Joseph M.; Somerville, E. Lee
Nineteenth-centrury temperature record at Fort Howard, Green Bay, Wisconsin,   pp. 79-89 PDF (4.4 MB)


Page 81

  81 / Fort Howard Temperature Record 
reaching 60 by 1843, and by the close of the Fox Riven. But by late 1821,
Fort 
the Civil War, weather records had been Howard was again meoccupied. Weather
assembled for varying periods at 143 boca- observations began 8 August 1821
and 
tions. By the 1870s the Surgeon General's continued until 30 June 1841 when
the 
weather network and those operated by garrison was withdrawn to Florida for
the Smithsonian Institution and the U.S. service in the Seminole War and
later to 
Army Corps of Engineers were merged Texas to serve in the war with Mexico.
gradually into a single weather obsenva- With the end of hostilities in 1848,
troops 
tion network within the Army Signal returned to Font Howard, and weather
Corps. Eventually, this new network observations resumed for a brief period.
evolved into the present National Weather Weather records are continuous
from 1 
Service (Hughes 1980). October 1849 through 31 May 1852, just 
 prior to final troop withdrawal and aban 
  Evaluating the Fort Howard donment of the font on 8 June 1852.2 
    Temperature Record  The Fort Howard weather record is 
 Font Howard's weather record was likely the only weather data available
for 
among the earliest and most continuous in the early to mid-nineteenth century
in the 
the Old Northwest (Table 1). The fort was Green Bay area. Between 1852 and
the 
one of several established just after the beginning of U.S. Weather Bureau
obser 
Wan of 1812, primarily to assent U.S. vations in the city on 1 September
1886, 
authority over the fun trade that had been only sketchy weather data exist
for Green 
bong controlled by the British (Kellogg Bay. How reliable then is the Fort
How- 
1934). Fort Howard was erected in 1816- and weather record, and is it reasonable
to 
1817 on the low, swampy west bank of the 
Fox Riven very near the river's mouth at     2 In 1863, the federal government
ordered the sale 
Green Bay (Fig. 1). Earlier the same site of the Fort Howard military reservation.
Although 
was occupied by the French font st. the fort was subsequently razed, several
of the buildings remained in use for many decades. Today 
Fnançois (1717—1760), and the British visitors to Green Bay's
Heritage Hill State Park can 
post, Font Edward Augustus (1761—1763). view the original Fort Howard
hospital (1834-1851) Sometime in early 1820 troops were and reconstructed
Surgeon's Quarters (1834-1851). 
The buildings are situated on a hillside overlooking 
removed from the font and temporarily the Fox River about 6 km upriver of
the original site 
garrisoned at Camp Smith, about 6 km up of the fort. 
Table 1. Location and period of record of weather stations in the Old Northwest
operated by the U.S. Army Medical Department 
Army Post 
Present Name 
Period of Record* 
Fort Armstrong 
Rock Island, Illinois 
1824-1835 
Fort Atkinson 
Fort Atkinson, Iowa 
1842-1846 
Fort Brady 
Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan 
1823-1825, 1827-1828, 1830-1842 + 
Council Bluffs 
Omaha, Nebraska 
1820-1825 
Fort Crawford 
Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin 
1822, 1824-1825, 1829-1845 
Fort Dearborn 
Chicago, Illinois 
1832-1836 
Fort Howard 
Green Bay, Wisconsin 
1821-1841, 1849-1852 
Fort Mackinac 
Mackinac Island, Michigan 
1826, 1831-1836, 1842+ 
Fort Snelling 
St. Paul, Minnesota 
181 9-1855 
Fort Winnebago 
Portage, Wisconsin 
1829-1845 
* Not necessarily complete years of data Sources: Lawson, 1840, 1851; Miller,
1927 


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