The Great Chicago Fire

Chicago Fire

Time Machine Tours is kicking off spring with our largest tour to date, “The Great Chicago Fire”, that explores the period following The Great Chicago Fire on October 8, 1871. Legend has it that a cow kicked over a lantern in a barn owned by Patrick and Catherine O’Leary in the city’s southwest side.

Wooden buildings and dry weather caused the fire to spread rapidly north and east toward the city center. It damaged more than 17,000 buildings, left an estimated 300 people dead, and 100,000 residents homeless. Although it was a devastating tragedy, it allowed Chicago to become the modern and forward thinking city we know it to be today.

This tour includes 24 geotagged images from the public domain that allows you to explore the Second City and see the ashes it was built on. Stand where the photographers stood in the aftermath and see the ruins of the Courthouse and City Hall (above), the Chicago Tribune building, Mrs. O’Leary’s residence itself (now the Chicago Fire Academy), and much more.

History is our story, and our story is all around us. Download Time Machine Tours free on your iPhone and start time traveling today! Keep checking back for more information on tours to be released throughout the spring.