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Review for Eastland Disaster Historical Society, Arlington Hts, IL, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

Before my Aunt, Ruth Eicker, passed away, she shared her memoirs of her childhood with her family. If her mother (my Grandmother), Mary Endre, were to have boarded the Eastland on that fateful day, I would not be alive to share this story because my father, Charles Endre, would not have been born.

Among my Aunt's Memoirs was the following paragraph:

"Mom’s first-husband (Ralph), who was my father, who I really never knew, wasn’t much for work although he had a pretty good job and made pretty good money for those days. When I was almost a year old, lacking of three weeks, mom, dad and I were supposed to go on a picnic. His company had a picnic every year and this was the first one we ever were supposed to go to. So mom was a little excited, so she got me all dressed up and she was supposed to meet my dad on the Chicago Ave. bridge downtown. The only nice thing my dad (Ralph) ever did for us, was, he was late getting there. While mom was standing there with me in her arms, the ship that we were supposed to go on, to go to the picnic went down. Mom told me she was glad I didn’t understand because it was such a trauma. She said you couldn’t believe the shock to see this ship going down right before your eyes. She said people were screaming and children crying, it was terrible to hear all those people when they went down. They couldn’t save many of the passengers, and many whole families were lost. (About 800 people in all were drowned in the Chicago River just feet from the docks. It was July 24th, 1915 at 7:30 AM, the Eastland was leaving the Chicago Ave. bridge wharf, to take passengers to a picnic for the employees of Western Electric, when the ship slowly rolled over and sank to the bottom of the river.) If mom, my dad and I had been on the ship, I would not be writing this all now. I was three weeks shy of being one years old. Mom said, she was still sore at my dad for being late, but that he had a good excuse, so she was not sore at him anymore."

Role:  General Member of the Public