Snow scene with snowman at 1004 Lamar St., Fort Worth; property of the Knights of Columbus; surnames of families represented are Fonte, Cheatham, Farris, Phillips, and Wallace (of Waples Platter grocers), 01/28/1889

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 tracesoftxphotos@gmail.com.

From the December 2019 issue
Cover photo: Cerro Castellan at Big Bend National Park by Wayne Suggs


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November 2019 cover of Texas Highways Magazine


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November 2019 cover of Texas Highways Magazine


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