Emily turns two just after the Great Arctic Outbreak of February 1899 hits the east coast of the United States. Temperatures in Binghamton register 15 degrees below zero. Either a coal furnace or fireplaces heat the home without the benefit of modern insulation. Even indoors the family bundles up against the cold air drafting in through windows and doors.
The cold air reaches as far south as Orlando Florida, decimating citrus groves that are recovering from freezes in the winter of 1894-1895. The land our home would occupy one hundred years later in Winter Park is covered with frost.
Near the end of the year, the Women's Christian Temperance Union holds its 25th annual convention at the Centenary Methodist Episcopal church in Binghamton. On October 5th, Governor Theodore Roosevelt stops in to address the women. Emily's cousin, 18-year-old Leoria Wilbur, my great grandmother, is in charge of the mail room, the equivalent of our media center today.