By December of 1716, New England had already seen five feet of snow that had accumulated,and at the end of January snow drifts were as high as 25 feet, completely overwhelming the people at the time. But the worse was yet to come– In late February, snow sleet and rain came constantly, and in March three major major snowstorms passed through Boston and the rest of New England.
Most reports of the amount of snow come for personal diaries, as there was a much smaller population, especially who kept records But several people in Boston had recorded 40 inches, with some areas in the north reaching 60. Many had to leave their houses from the second floor, however for those who had single story houses only a small stack of smoke coming from the chimney was the only part visible
Church services were not held for two weeks and post-men had to deliver mail on snowshoe until mid march March when the roads were passable. Much livestock was lost, and people estimate that 90% of the deer perished. Some farmers wrote that they found their animals buried beneath the snow. They wrote tales of pigs who escaped the snowbanks 27 days after the snowfall, and discovering turkeys who lived for 20 more days after the storms, all whose health was eventually restored. Even writers would make reference to it, remarking events as either happening before or after The Great Snow of 1717.
Today, many people attribute this extreme winter to large volcanic eruptions that leave ash in the upper atmosphere–In 1716 there were strong eruptions in not only Japan, but Indonesia, and the Philippines.