Vintage: The Eastland disaster (1915)

Vintage: The Eastland disaster (1915)


A large crowd of horrified spectators watched as the S.S. Eastland – only a few feet from the shore of the Chicago River downtown — turned on its side. It was in just 20 feet of water, but that was deep enough to drown 844 people who were trapped or trampled below decks.

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Chicago Tribune historical photo The ill-fated steamer S.S. Eastland rests on her side in the Chicago River, with rescuers conducting investigations on the dead on the ships upturned side. The boat turned over within 12 feet of the shore.

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Chicago Tribune historical photo The S.S. Eastland rests on its side in the Chicago River after slowly rolling over and drowning 844 people on July 24, 1915.

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Chicago Tribune historical photo Rescuers recover the body of a girl from the river, a victim of the S.S. Eastland sinking disaster on July 24, 1915.

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Chicago History Museum The S.S. Eastland on its side in the Chicago River on July 24, 1915.

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Chicago Tribune historical photo Scenes of weeping survivors were common along the river following the S.S. Eastland steamship disaster, when the ship slowly settled on its side and 844 people drowned.

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Chicago Tribune historical photo The tugboat Kenosha served as a floating bridge to let survivors reach safety after the S.S. Eastland steamship disaster on July 24, 1915. The Eastland was in only 20 feet of water, but that was deep enough to drown 844 people.

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Chicago Tribune historical photo The Second Regiment Armory, on Washington Boulevard, served as a temporary morgue for victims of the S.S. Eastland steamship disaster on July 24, 1915. Some people were never identified.

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Chicago Tribune historical photo In a vacant store on the 200 block of Clark Street near the river, an information bureau was established shortly after the Eastland capsized. Lists of the victims and survivors were compiled and information was disseminated to relatives and friends at the bureau.

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Chicago Tribune historical photo The S.S. Eastland at its mooring in the Chicago River on July 4, 1915. An outing on the Eastland became a sinking disaster on July 24, 1915, when it rolled over and hundreds of passengers drowned.

via Chicago Tribune


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