A reconstruction methodology utilizing such varied documents as diaries, agricultural journals, U.S. Weather Bureau killing frost records and instrumental records is discussed. A resultant 248-year frost record for eastern Massachusetts exhibits marked variations in the length of the growing season, that occur on a time scale of approximately 70 years. There is an apparent systematic long-term relationship between the timing of spring and fall killing frosts and the last 100 years of record reveals a decline in year-to-year variability.

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