(A weekend special edition)

By Steve Kovacs (Introduction by Chuck Gibson)

LOVELAND, OH (August 15, 2020) – In Issue 50 of Steve Kovacs Fun with Maps feature we hear about Mrs. O’Leary’s Cow kick-starting the “Great Chicago Fire” and an incredible feat of engineering.

Steve Kovacs,(Provided)

Second City

Chicago traces its beginning to this day in 1833 when it incorporated as a town of 200 people. 

The Windy City had its moments along the way, such as in 1871 when it endured 3 days of fire, known as the Great Chicago Fire, which killed 300 and destroyed 3.3 sq. miles.  While it is known that the fire started at the O’Leary farm, it is speculation that Mrs. O’Leary’s cow started it by knocking over a lantern.  

Then, there is the great engineering achievement of reversing the direction of flow of the Chicago River, away from Lake Michigan, which was completed in 1900.

We very much enjoy visiting Chicago – stop by the Bean, walk the Magnificent Mile, visit the Art Institute, enjoy deep dish Pizza, etc.  Hopefully, we can visit soon after Covid-19 subsides. 

If you visit as well, what is your favorite thing to do there? 

This is McDonald’s map of Chicago from 1872, showing in red the ‘burnt district’ from the fire of the previous year.

Map of Chicago from 1872 – just one year after the “Great Chicago Fire” _Credit Steve Kovacs) 

Steve Kovacs and his wife Theresa reside in Loveland, Ohio where they raised their two children. He is a passionate collector of antique maps.

Click here to visit his antique map boutique world-on-paper online. Watch for his daily feature Steve Kovacs: Antique Maps & Fun Facts here on Loveland Beacon.