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  • Writer's pictureDon Wilding

The Blizzard of '78 at Nauset Light

Northeasters are always an amazing experience at Nauset Light, but the Blizzard of '78 was truly unforgettable for Jack Clarke. (Don Wilding photo)

Here in New England, there's an abundance of wild stories about the storm known as "The Blizzard of '78." As great as some of these tales are, there are few that can match the wild night experienced by former Cape Cod National Seashore ranger Jack Clarke.

Back on Feb. 6, 1978, the day that the famous storm first struck New England, Clarke spent his night at the keeper's house at Nauset Light.

Miriam Rowell, who owned the house from 1957 to 1982, wintered in London, and enlisted Clarke to housesit for her. Clarke, who lived in a smaller cottage nearby during the summer months, knew that the weather was about to take a turn for the worse, but he hardly expected a storm of historic proportions.

"Anyone who has that Cape Cod license plate, or gets a bag of Cape Cod Potato Chips, will see that keeper's house and the window facing the ocean," Clarke recalled in a 2008 interview with the Henry Beston Society. "Well, that was my bedroom that night in a big brass bed."

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