November 13, 1909 was like any other day for the 480 men who went into the coal mine at Cherry, Illinois, to begin another day’s work.
The mine at Cherry was just a few years old, and it was considered the safest mine in America. However, within hours, a fire in the mine would take the lives of 259 men and boys. It would make widows of more than 100 women and orphans of 500 children.
Eight days after the fire, twenty men emerged in a miraculous tale of survival. The Cherry mine disaster remains the third worst coal mining disaster in United States history. But it brought about sweeping reform. It changed child labor laws in America and it resulted in the first workmen’s compensation laws.
This disaster was a bonanza for a number of local photographers, and the several hundred picture postcard views they produced provide a valuable visual account of this terrible event.
This book provides the most comprehensive collection of these photographs which document this American tragedy.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)
Susan L. Kelsey lived in the Sauganash neighborhood of Chicago on the site of Billy Caldwell’s former 1,600-acre reserve land received during the 1833 Treaty of Chicago. She found a bronze plaque signifying the boundary of historic Fort Dearborn and Caldwell’s Reserve and wanted to learn more about the history of Billy Caldwell, “Chief Sauganash.” Over the course of twenty-five years, Kelsey followed the trail of Caldwell through two countries, thirteen states, and thousands of miles, and met new friends along the journey, intersecting stories about Irish Native Americans and learning about the land we call America.
PUBLISHER: America Through Time
DIMENSIONS: 6.5 (w) x 9.25 (h)