Chicago In 1871
In 1871 Chicago's roads, buildings, and side walks were made of wood. The buildings were built side by side. Most of the setterlers were building their homes on the North Side. Most of the men built their homes in the atmoshere of New England they had left behind. Large frame homes had spacios lawns. The residents here take pride in their gardens. They went by the motto on the state seal. Which is Urbs in Horto. Which translated means "The Garden City. " Many streets were lined with trees. there were even some small forests in the middle city.
Chicago had a good water pumping system. Its water tower was a large stone building with a wooden top. The pumps were in a small building. The pumps pumped water all over the city so if there was a fire the water would be there to put out the fire. The people thought they had enough water but the firemen knew there wasn't enough water to protect Chicago.
There were no fire laws. It was an unsafe city some people said. Some people would fight at fires for the honor of telling the chief they put out the fire. By the time they were done there was nothing left to save.
The fire department didn't have that much equipment. Some of it was damaged in the in previous fires. The firemen were already tired from fighting fires that autumn. There were an average of two fires a day which the overworked firemen responded to. The city had a population of 330,000 but fewer than 200 were firemen. Over a third of them were injured and the rest were exhausted from fighting the Saturday night fire.