Great Chicago Fire

1871 conflagration in Chicago, United States

The Great Chicago Fire was a large fire that started on Sunday October 8, 1871 in Chicago, Illinois, United States. The fire started out as nine separated fires.[1] It burned until Tuesday October 10, 1871 when rain started to fall.

Drawing of the Great Chicago Fire from Harper's Weekly

The fire destroyed 3.3 square miles (8.5 square kilometers)[2] and $192,000,000 in property. About 100,000 people were left homeless. Three hundred people died. Because of a large fire the night before, firefighters were too tired to quickly put out these fires.[3]

No one is sure what caused the fire. A legend says that it started when a cow knocked over a lantern in Catherine O'Leary's barn on De Koven Street.[4]

The oldest structure left standing in the area where the fire burned is the Couch family tomb. This stone tomb was built in 1858.[5]

Not all of the city was destroyed. Important places like the Stock Yards, where animals were slaughtered, were not damaged. Neither was the railroad system.[6]

The second red star of the Chicago flag represents the fire.[7]

GalleryEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. "Progress of the Chicago Fire of 1871". Encyclopedia of Chicago. Retrieved August 28, 2014.
  2. Miller, Donald (1996). City of the Century; The Epic of Chicago and the making of America. New York: Simon & Schuster. p. 159. ISBN 0684831384.
  3. Chicago fire of 1871. (2014). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://library.eb.com.ezproxy.northbrook.info/levels/referencecenter/article/443657#
  4. Did the Cow Do It?
  5. Couch Family Tomb
  6. The Ruined City. (2011). The Great Chicago Fire and the Web of Memory. Archived 2014-05-28 at the Wayback Machine Chicago History Museum. Web. Retrieved on May 27, 2014.
  7. "Municipal Flag of Chicago". Chicago Public Library. 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-04.

Other websitesEdit