IS THE GREAT CHICAGO FIRE HISTORY’S MOST BIZARRE TRAGEDY?
By the time the last flame of the Great Chicago
Firemen responded immediately, but a watchman sent them to the wrong place by mistake, giving the unusual Southwest winds time to send the fire roaring toward the heart of the city. Most of Chicago’s buildings were made of wood, and the newly developed tar on the rooftops was incredibly flammable. As the fire grew, the firefighters hoped the Chicago River would be a natural firebreak, but the city’s riverside had recently gained more lumber and coal yards, causing the fire to jump the river. As the air over the city overheated, it came into contact with cooler air, and a spinning fire tornado developed. After the fire jumped the river, a burning piece of timber lodged on the roof of the city’s waterworks building, destroying it and halting the city’s water supply. By the time the fire died over a day later, 73 miles of roads and $4 billion (in 2017 dollars) of property were destroyed. All this came about because of a cow, a drought, a bad watchman, some short-lived building materials, and a literal fire tornado. Modern safeguards wouldn’t allow this to happen today, which is very fortunate. If the disaster happened the same way today, it wouldn’t displace 1,000 people; it would displace 1 million.
Fire fizzled out on October 10, 1871, 300 people were dead, a third of Chicago’s population were homeless, and 4 square miles of city were destroyed. Reflecting on the disaster begs the question: Was it the
most bizarre tragedy ever?
By October, 1871, Chicago only had 1 inch of rain all year, which is far less than the
annual average of 35 inches. While the exact cause is unclear, historians commonly accept that a cow belonging to a Mrs. O’Leary started the fire in a barn on DeKoven Street by kicking over a lantern.
Banking for Bass? Check Out This Lake
It’s bass season in the Pelican State. Luckily, we know the best place to catch them.
The large lake has its share of fingers and creeks, which are shallow enough to support submerged vegetation. The bass love it. Offer them crankbait, spinnerbait, or topwater popper, and they’ll have a hard time saying no.
If you haven’t been out to Cross Lake to catch largemouth bass, you haven’t experienced the best fishing this season has to offer. Cross Lake sits just west of Shreveport.
Other options for the month are catfish, which can be found in abundance at Lake Maurepas, and, as always, billfish. There might even be a marlin or
This fair-sized lake has two distinctive shores, each offering their own benefits: the west shore is relatively wild and underdeveloped, while the east shore and southern banks are more developed. The wild side of the lake provides more seclusion, but as you probably know, bass like to cozy up to man-made structures. The south side is home to a sturdy pier that’s a popular spot for bank anglers to cast for cruising bass.
two to catch. The state’s record marlin was caught in October, 1977, and weighed 1,018 pounds! The lunar calendar dictates that Thursday the 5th, from midnight to 1:44 a.m., is perhaps the most ideal time of the month for bass fishing. To see other key times, you can check out Bassmaster’s calendar at bassmaster.com/best-times- fishing-calendars.
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