Featured image: Market Street photo from “Ipswich Today” February 10, 1978. On the far right you can see the Strand Theater, which was demolished in 1985.

The Blizzard of ’78 raged from Sunday evening February 5 through Tuesday evening February 7. Over a billion dollars of damage occurred, including the loss of 11,000 homes and the lives of 29 Massachusetts residents. The highest total snowfall was 43.7 inches in Ipswich! Shown below are a few photos of the aftermath of the storm from the “Ipswich Today” newspaper.

Depot Square (photo from “Ipswich Today” February 10, 1978). The building on the left replaced the old Depot, and was in turn replaced by the Institution for Savings building. The large building on the right was the Damon Building, which burned in 1982, and was replaced by the brick building which stands at that corner now.
jeffreys_neck_road
View from Jeffreys Neck Road (from “Ipswich Today” February 10, 1978
Pavilion Beach (photo from “Ipswich Today” February 10, 1978)
The Pavilion before the storm, photo courtesy of Stony Stone
The Pavilion before the storm, photo courtesy of Stony Stone

pavillion The Pavilion was completely destroyed (from “Ipswich Today,” February 10, 1978

pavilion_collapse.jpg
The Pavilion in ruins
Argilla Road
Traffic on Rt. 128 /I-95 came to a stop and cars were buried. It took days to remove all the cars.

blizzard_78_snow_map

Read more aMass Moments: Blizzard Paralyzes Massachusetts.

5 thoughts on “The Blizzard of ’78, February 5, 1978

  1. I lived at 35 Central Street at the time with two room mates. It is now the Oak Hill Senior Center. After the snow stopped, we jumped off the wall into the drifts in front of the Memorial Building. We weren’t sure where the road signs or fire hydrants were below, so we had to be careful. We then walked “around the block”, down Market Street and back up Hammatt Street. The path we made in the chest deep snow became the thoroughfare for everyone until the plows came. Where we crossed from one side of the street to the other, everyone else using our path did as well. There was a constant stream of snow mobiles pulling up to Marcorelles liquor store. I don’t think they ever closed. Once the sun came out, the roads were still all closed, we cross country skied down to the salt marsh via Labor in Vain Road. We saw some unbelievable sights. We didn’t have a camera, so no pictures to post. As people got cabin fever, they walked down town. We had many visitors from those that walked to town.

  2. We took the three kids, 3,6,7 yrs.old, in the red Radio Flyer wagon, taking turns riding one mile to the nearest Almacs grocery store. It was the third day and the sun was shining, illuminating the clean beautiful carless “tunnel” we were walking through, snow pushed 7 feet high to either side, courtesy of the biggest plows I’ve ever seen! They were rationing some things but we were able to get Three gallons of milk because our whole family of five was standing right in front of them!

  3. I remember the police had to get around town by commandeering the snowmobiles of the residents. My brother lived on the Neck and was stuck at our house because the causeway was snowed under. Great memories.

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