photograph showcase

Photograph Showcase: Deane the Snow Sweeper

DUVAL, Deane Alice in the snow, 28 February 1936
Deane Alice Duval, 28 February 1936


That little darling is my Grandma, Deane Alice Duval, on 28 February 1936.  She was three years and eight months old when this photo was taken.  The location was likely Great Falls, Montana.

I love everything about this photo!  Her smile is so adorable.  The snowsuit, boots, mittens, and hat are perfect.  And that broom!  I wonder why she was sweeping?  She had a brand new baby brother, so maybe she was helping her Dad outside.

When I first read the back of the photo I thought it must be a mistake:


DUVAL, Deane Alice in the snow, 28 February 1936, back


The date is a great match for the age of my Grandma, but “25° zero —”?  I thought she looked way too happy for it to have been -25° so I did a little Googling.  February 1936 was extremely cold in Montana!

“The 1936 North American cold wave ranks among the most intense cold waves in the recorded history of North America . . . . February 1936 was the coldest February on record in the contiguous U.S., narrowly eclipsing February 1899.”1

So, that “25° zero —” recorded by my great-grandmother, Hope Estelle Maffit, on the back of the photo was likely the temperature that day, or at least the lowest temperature of that day.  I wish I could pop right into that photo and tuck some hand warmers in those mittens, foot warmers in those boots, and hand over a steaming thermos of hot chocolate.  After a great big hug of course!



Happy Friday, I hope you will scan and share a precious family photo today!!  xoxo



  1. Wikipedia (, “1936 North American cold wave,” rev. 11:15 (UTC), 31 July 2019.

8 thoughts on “Photograph Showcase: Deane the Snow Sweeper”

    1. Thank you, Su! Right?!! That is way too cold for me. I don’t know how she was so cheerful. Haha! 😉

        1. So true, Su!! We usually have snow for several months. Even with that much time to play in it, my little one never gets tired of playing in the snow and generally isn’t cold until he gets home. Haha!

  1. It’s such a darling picture. When I was about that age, I had a great broom which I used to sweep snow away. I also helped my Dad clean the sawdust out of the garage.

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