The History


“YOU CAN'T IMAGINE THE FULL HORROR OF IT. I have never read nor seen such a sight. In our rescue work .... I was using a fifteen foot pike pole and at one time knew I had a body hooked but couldn't lift it. I signaled for help and was let down with a rope around my waist. There I found two women and a baby locked in a death grip.” -- Joseph Kuhlman

Months of planning and preparation for the excursion and picnic led up to the Eastland Disaster, but the tragedy itself was over in a matter of minutes. However, the rescue and recovery efforts following the tragedy went on for days, even weeks.

The Western Electric Company and the American Red Cross each responded in an admirable fashion to the Disaster to ease the pain, suffering, and hardship of the victims’ families. Countless organizations and thousands of individuals responded in one or more ways, but it is impossible to identify all who helped in the rescue and recovery.

Sadly, the aftermath of the Eastland Disaster was slightly about rescue and survival – it was mostly consumed with recovery.