Little Mountain, SC (WLTX) - A Newberry County family has been reporting the weather from their home since the late 1800s.
"It's just something you do naturally, like brushing your teeth or taking a bath," said Margaret Jayroe. She is the Little Mountain cooperative weather observer for the National Weather Service.
"Setting the thermometer, recording and calling the weather station," said Jayroe. The 91-year-old weather observer knows the routine well.
She's had the routine down since she took over for her aunt, but the family ties to weather goes back much further.
She said, "They were looking for persons in certain locations that would probably be there for years to come, and my grandfather had just built this house and moved into it in '91, 1891."
Her grandfather, Dr. John Marion Sease became the first weather observer in Little Mountain in 1893, he died in 1923. His daughter started doing the observations, but when she died in 1962 Jayroe took over.
Now 55 years and about 20,000 observations later, she was honored for her service with the prestigious Benjamin Franklin Award.
Jayroe said, "You really wonder what you have done that was so important that makes you able to receive an award like that."
Jayroe says she cannot physically get around as well as she once did, but she plans on continuing her reports.
She said, "It becomes such a part of your life, it is like an arm or a leg, you'd miss it if you didn't have it."
"So I would really miss it if I didn't know what the weather was outside. And now, believe it or not, that is just about the only way I know what the weather is like outside," said Jayroe.
The NOAA Benjamin Franklin Award is given to an observer for 55 years of service. She says her son is going to take over the observations when she is no longer able to do them.