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Ezra Fiske: A pioneer — and Lodi's first weather watcher

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Posted: Saturday, March 20, 2010 12:00 am

Lodi's first official weather watcher was a pioneer grain farmer who first settled on the untamed land of brush and oak trees in 1852.

Ezra Fiske was bachelor machinist from Massachusetts and one of the early pioneers who gave up on gold mining to set up stakes on the rich valley soil. Like all farmers, Fiske was a keen weather observer, but he turned his interest into a scientific but crude daily record. Beginning in 1881, he recorded temperatures and captured rain in a tin cup and used a ruler to measure it. His detailed weather observations for the next 30 years left a valuable record used as recently at the 1990s to help establish Lodi as a recognized winegrape growing region.

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