October 8 was the anniversary of the 1871 Great Chicago Fire, and the site has a special collection of research material based on Chicago Tribune contemporary reports.
--The original Chicago Tribune Article
-- Photo of Fire's destruction
-- Illustration of the Fire
-- Map of the Destruction
-- The Great Chicago Fire Footnote Page
Click here for more. Although Footnote.com is a subscription site, some collections are free and searches produce hits for free and fee materials. See what you can find in tthe site's extensive resources and you might find that a subscription could further your research.
On October 8, 1871, around nine o'clock in the evening, a fire started in the O'Leary's barn at 13 DeKoven Street and quickly spread throughout Chicago's business district.. Although legends hold O'Leary's cow responsible for causing the fire, the actual source is still unknown.
The blaze raged for two days, killing hundreds, destroying millions of dollars in property, leaving thousands homeless, and ravaging almost four square miles.
From the smoldering ashes, the citizens of Chicago began to rebuild and a new era began in the city's history. The resulting boom in building construction made Chicago one of the most populous, most economically profitable, and most modern cities in the United States. The Great Chicago Fire was a tragedy, but out of this disaster emerged the modern metropolis of Chicago.