The end of March is upon us and hopefully we will see the weather turning warmer with no more threat of snow and ice.
The second week of March will definitely go down in history as one of the most unusual with the temperatures heading into the 60s and sunny one day and then turning into a severe wind storm tearing up trees, downing power lines and creating havoc throughout the upstate area.
Rochester was hit with the 85 mph winds and the old poles, old trees and buildings were just not used to hurricane force winds. Then came the snow! Here in Palmyra we measured just about 32 inches with drifts much higher. As far as we experienced here, the power was out for a short time on until things were hooked back up in the surrounding areas. Mount Alling, the strange growth of snow and ice forming only in the winter months behind the Alling Coverlet Museum, is from the parking lot snow piled higher than you can imagine. It is our very own mountain behind the north side of Main Street. The children bring their sleds, climbing to the top overlooking Market Street from this towering behemoth. Most of it is gone now and hopefully will not be back until next year.
As in much of life and the months of January, February, March and April, everything is unpredictable where the weather is concerned. This year made that fact or folklore more real than ever. During this terrible storm we lost a wonderful historian, friend, volunteer, helpful, loving person and part of a set. He was the Robert Kirchhoff part of the Kirchhoff brothers who passed away. A committed member of the Western Presbyterian Church, a World War II veteran, a businessman, college graduate and Sir Winston Churchill enthusiast and expert. Robert “Bob” Kirchhoff was a true advocate of Palmyra, and did not just think about it but would stop visitors, share Palmyra’s history, take them on sightseeing tours and then, of course, they would invite him to dinner. Bob met many people like this and was invited to many dinners. He was a great friend to Historic Palmyra and was cherished for all of his stories, his feats of climbing and his bravery. Burnham Heights will just not be the same without Bob Kirchhoff.
One particular thing that Bob like to do was to sharpen up the lines by the sidewalks and lawns. He would take his edger and had his own special broom to clean the dirt making the smart, clean lines of a well-kept yard. At 90 years old, Bob had seen more things, done more things and been in more interesting places than most of us put together. What is one of the most delightful things about Bob was his sense of humor and the lighthearted teasing about being a twin. We will miss you Bob Kirchhoff and think of you often. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Bob’s family and friends, considering ourselves among them.
The museums are open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays at Palmyra Historical Museum, 132 Market St. Our new donations throughout this winter months have been unique and many. We can always use volunteers to help get ready for the May 6 opening. This year our theme will be “Bicentennial of the Erie Canal, 200 years from 1817 to 2017.” Come experience the history through its people and artifacts and our five amazing museums. Call 315-597-6981.