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ISGS Quarterly Call for Stories! -Great Chicago Fire

Chicago is a remarkable city with a remarkable history. With the rise of railroads and the city’s position on Lake Michigan, the city had grown rapidly in the years before 1871, when the population of more than 300,000 included many immigrants from Ireland, Germany, and Eastern European countries. But on October 8,1871, the Great Chicago Fire swept the city, killing more than 300 people and destroying thousands of buildings. After the disaster, Chicagoans built back bigger and better than before, creating the world-class city it remains today.

In the Fall issue of the Quarterly, we would like to feature the stories of Chicagoans who lived through this frightening event. If your ancestors were among them, please consider writing and submitting their stores.

· Were they recent immigrants to the city?

· Did they live in the area where the fire started?

· Or did they come to Chicago to help rebuild the city after the fire?

· Did their families stay in Chicago after the fire, or move on to another home?

· Does your family have artifacts relating to the fire?

Stories may be any length up to 400 words, but longer pieces will be considered. Photos are especially welcome. Documenting your articles with footnotes would be helpful, but please don’t hesitate to send us family stories and reminiscences also. Please send them to by August 1, 2021. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!

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