Chicago Water Works - Destroyed in 1871 Fire

On the 8th of October, 1871, Chicago was a city of many wooden buildings.  When the great fire started, likely in the O'Leary barn on DeKoven Street, it quickly spread due to high winds and extremely dry conditions.

The fire started at about 9 PM.  Within 2½ hours, it had reach the Chicago River.  Jumping the river for the first time, at about 11:30 PM, the fire reached Chicago's North Side. 

When it jumped the river a second time - at about 2:30 AM on October 9th -  the fire threatened Chicago's water supply since the Water Works had a wooden roof. 

After the fire destroyed the Water Works - except for the Water Tower - the city no longer had its water supply.

The fire continued to burn, laying waste to the business district and rendering one-third of the citizens homeless.  Rain, on the 10th of October, finally helped to extinguish the flames.

Media Credits

Clip from the Weather Channel's story on Chicago's Great Fire of 1871.


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"Chicago Water Works - Destroyed in 1871 Fire" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 07, 2013. Jul 18, 2018.
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