Solar Eclipse of 1806

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John Cochran and his new wife arrived in the area in the spring of 1806. They boarded with the Wetmore family while John was building their new home at the north end of, what is today, Crystal Lake. On June 16, 1806, Mrs. Cochran was at home with the Wetmore’s doing afternoon chores when just after 9:30am it began to get dark. She glanced outdoors and not seeing a storm, she began to get frantic. Mrs. Cochran became so scared that she fell on her knees shouting that the world was coming to an end and she began praying.

William Wetmore had a difficult time trying to pacify her. He gathered up a piece of smoked glass and watched the sun as it was sliding behind the moon. He convinced Mrs. Cochran it was simply an eclipse and to take a look through the darkened pane of glass. She watched as it continued growing darker outside until it became completely pitch black from 11:16 to 11:18. She laughed along with the others and apologized for acting like a foolish woman.

Meanwhile John was over at the new house cutting out a doorway. The surrounding forest grew darker and darker. The wolves began to howl furiously and the other animals of the woods began scattering. He became so alarmed that he climbed to the roof beam at the top most point of the new house where he waited during the longest minutes of his life before the sky grew light again. He climbed down and high tailed it past Crystal Lake and around the east shore of Silver Lake to the Wetmore home to find out what had just happened. Everyone was amazed by what had happened and the topic dominated the dinner hour. By 12:44 everything appeared completely normal once again.

Taken from my book: Cuyahoga Falls: River of Memories

More information on the total solar eclipse –