Winter in Texas means everything from Christmas tamales to New Year’s black-eyed peas, Gulf Coast fishing to chilly northers under cobalt-blue skies. What winter does not usually mean in Texas is snow, at least not in appreciable quantities. The white stuff was plentiful, however, on this January day in 1889 for the Fonte, Cheatham, Farris, Phillips, and Wallace families of Fort Worth. They gathered enough snow to build a monumental, if slightly terrifying, snowman at 1004 Lamar St. (now a downtown parking lot). Their achievement caught the attention of an unknown photographer, who captured the wintery moment for posterity. No doubt there was something warm to drink afterward, probably by a fire with an old hound dog sleeping and dreaming of the spring to come and the rabbits he’d chase.

Know of any fascinating vintage Texas photographs? Send copies or ideas to [email protected].

From the December 2019 issue

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