Monday, November 8, 2010

1879 "Whatisit"

As I cull through so many pages of research material I chose not to put in The Fowlerville Chronicles, every once in a while something catches my eye that doesn't make sense. Such as, Have you got the 'epizootie?' I had to head to Google and type in the word epizootie. It would appear it is a problem with livestock. So, mystery solved with that one. But then when G.L. Adams posed the following question a couple weeks later, I was really puzzled:

Did you see the "whatisit" on Wednesday evening?

I googled and came up with nothing, so I continued on looking at Local Notices posted in The Fowlerville Review in 1879. The following article was published a few weeks later in the paper:

The "whatisit," supposed by some to be a comet, seen in the southern sky on the evening of January 29th, was caused by the burning of a grist mill belonging to Mr. Ira Reeves, situated in the township of Putnam in a district known as "hell." The mill was situated near a large pond which was covered with clear ice and the reflection of the fire on the ice caused the bright light in the sky. This mill was built at a cost of $16,000 and was one of the best in the state.

So, in other words, a "whatisit" in 1879 can apply to something today that we cannot, at the moment, explain. I'll have to remember that one.

No comments: