Storm meant mimeographed ’43 issuePublished 5:30pm Monday, October 8, 2012
The Niles Daily Star took many shapes in 93 years leading up to the city’s sesquicentennial.
According to the keepsake edition for Niles’ 150th anniversary published July 9, 1979, one stands out.
At noon June 1, 1943, Niles was slammed by the “fiercest wind storm its residents could recall.”
“Cyclonic proportions” toppled hundreds of trees, wiped out electrical service and thwarted publication by traditional methods.
In the spirit of theater’s credo “the show must go on,” the Star vowed to publish — power or not.
The staff “oiled up a mimeograph machine, copied the story of the wicked storm on stencils and proceeded to grind out the only mimeographed edition in the history of the newspaper.”
The storm struck with “frightening ferocity.” A wide swath of damage was bounded on the north by Lake Street. Silverbrook Cemetery took the brunt, with 20 huge trees felled in the vicinity of the former Bonine estate on South Third.
Fallen trunks blocked the Niles-South Bend Michigan Central Railroad spur and closed Main Street by city hall.
Residents believed it to be a tornado, but no “meteorological confirmation was ever obtained.”
It was the first time since February 1926 that the Star failed to produce its regular edition.
That was the year the Star moved from Main and Front streets to Fourth Street, where it remains today.
Delays in machinery installation caused one issue to be missed.
Tags: 1943 twister