BLAST FROM THE PAST - 500 drown

JULY 25, 1915 The top stories in the Norwalk Reflector-Herald on this date 92 years ago:
Norwalk Reflector Staff
Jul 25, 2010

JULY 25, 1915

The top stories in the Norwalk Reflector-Herald on this date 92 years ago:

500 drown when Eastland sinks

CHICAGO, July 24 - One hundred and fifty are known to be dead and 300 others are believed to be dead or imprisoned in the state rooms of the steamer Eastland, which sank in the Chicago River today.

The Steamer Eastland was familiar to Norwalk people, having been on the Cleveland-Cedar Point run for many years till last year, when she was sold to Chicago parties. A long, narrow, high steel boat, she was very fast but was never considered very safe.

The estimate of the dead was that of Deputy Police Supt. Schuettler, who personally counted the bodies taken to the steamer Theodore Roosevelt nearby and to improvised morgues.

The Eastland, according to Captain Peterson, was carrying within 70 of her capacity of 2,070. The boat sank so quickly that scores were carried under and are believed to have been crushed into the muddy bottom of the river by the boat's weight. Scores were still imprisoned in state rooms and the lower decks, two hours after the accident. Their screams could be plainly heard above the noise of the drills which were used to cut away the ship's side plates.

Many of the victims were women and children. So thickly were the waters covered with human beings an hour after the boat sank, that rescuers passed by motionless bodies and drew out only those who displayed some signs of life.

Norwalk to have a new garage

Norwalk is to have another new commodious and up-to-date garage.

The new owner will be Leon E. Kinney, at present in the office of his brother-in-law, T.R. Washburn, who is engaged in the insurance and real estate business, and the location is to be northeast corner of East Main Street and Foster Avenue.

The deal for the property has already been consummated, it being understood that Mr. Kinney paid H.A. Gallup $3,000 for the property, which has frontage of 66 feet on Main Street, extending north half way to Monroe street.

Nearly half of poles come out

Another conference was held yesterday afternoon between city officials and representatives of the two telephone companies and the Lake Shore Electric Railway, to complete the arrangements whereby two sets of poles will accommodate all wires on Main Street between West Street and the tracks of the SL&MS Railroad.

Blue prints of the territory showing where poles should be located to carry the wires properly were submitted and the matter was carefully gone into and agreements made whereby the Bell and Local telephone companies shall maintain the poles granting contract to the municipal light plant and the electric railway.

At present there are 331 poles in the territory. By getting together, 141 poles will be removed, cutting the number down to 190. Of the 190 poles that remain, 25 will be new ones to replace poles not heavy enough to carry the wires that will be necessary to be upon them.

Two left with bills unsettled

Manager Tyler of the Avalon is looking for some clue to "J.M. Harris," of Cleveland and "R.J. Jamieson," also of Cleveland, who departed from his hostelry forgetting the important function of paying their board bills - one for a little more than a day and the other for three days. If any Norwalk firms know them, he wants information; the best was none too good for either of them while they were Avalon guests.

Compiled by Andy Prutsok