End of Life Decisions - I thought I was ready to say good-bye to Mom, but I wasn't.

End of Life Decisions - I thought I was ready to say good-bye to Mom, but I wasn't.
My mother, Angeline Manseau, passed away last Wednesday, 1/14/15, after a seven-year battle with Alzheimer’s Disease. My husband and I had been on a New Year’s cruise in the Caribbean and returned to frigid Chicago to discover that Mom had taken a tumble at her memory-support facility and was in the hospital. I literally dropped... Read more »

The Picnic That Never Was - A Visit to Michigan City, IN

The Picnic That Never Was - A Visit to Michigan City, IN
  New Year’s is a time for all of us to celebrate with family, friends, and co-workers in anticipation of a bright new year filled with endless possibilities. The 2500 passengers on the Eastland that last fateful day had also anticipated a joyous celebration –  The 5th Annual Western Electric Employees Picnic. The Eastland was... Read more »

St. Mary's of Czestochowa's Role in the Eastland Saga

St. Mary's of Czestochowa's Role in the Eastland Saga
For billions of Christians around the world, Christmas Day is a time of great rejoicing as we celebrate the birth of baby Jesus. For the employees of Western Electric Hawthorne Works in Cicero (the passengers on the Eastland) the Christmas season would have been equally as important. Many employees settled in the area around the Hawthorne... Read more »
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A Review of New Eastland Book, Ashes Under Water by Michael McCarthy

A Review of New Eastland Book, Ashes Under Water by Michael McCarthy
Not many of us would have the tenacity, patience, or energy to research one particular subject for twelve years, but that was precisely what Michael McCarthy, author of Ashes Under Water: The SS Eastland and the Shipwreck that Shook America, did. He accomplished the seemingly impossible feat of compiling a mass of new information and... Read more »

New Eastland Book! Ashes Under Water by Michael McCarthy

New Eastland Book! Ashes Under Water by Michael McCarthy
I’m happy to announce a new nonfiction book on the Eastland disaster – Ashes Under Water: The SS Eastland and the Shipwreck that Shook America by former Chicagoan, Michael McCarthy. Here’s what the press has to say about Ashes. Resonating with today’s headlines – here’s a tale of wretched income inequality: A shipwreck, 1915. Chicago.... Read more »

Eastland Comes to Chicago Ghost Conference - November 21 and 22nd!

Eastland Comes to Chicago Ghost Conference - November 21 and 22nd!
As Monty Python used to say, “Now for something completely different.” I promised to print an interview with Michael McCarthy, author of Ashes Under Water: The SS Eastland and the Shipwreck, a brand new nonfiction book on the disaster. The interview is in the works, but Michael is on an extended book tour right now, and it... Read more »
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Where is the SS Eastland Now?

Where is the  SS Eastland Now?
In my last blog, we left the sullied and damaged Eastland in the Shipowners’ Dry Dock Company on the north branch of the Chicago River. In the first few weeks at dry dock, the owners had hopes of repairing the hulk for service in another city. But the steamship company went bankrupt in the process... Read more »

Curse of the Death Ship

Curse of the Death Ship
After the capsizing on Saturday, July 24, 1915, the Eastland lay on her side in the filth of the Chicago River for three more weeks while a salvage crew prepared to raise her upright. In Eastland, Legacy of the Titanic, George W. Hilton tells us that the process began with the hiring of the salvage... Read more »

Save The Date - Friday, July 24, 2015

Save The Date - Friday, July 24, 2015
Once again, I had a topic all set for this week’s blog when I received an email from the Eastland Disaster Historical Society, Chicago’s official sponsor of the 100th Anniversary Commemoration next July 24th. The director, Ted Waccholz, has been very busy making arrangements for ceremonies, and memorials, and family/friends reunions for the weekend-long commemoration... Read more »
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Oprah's Haunted Connection to the Eastland

Oprah's Haunted Connection to the Eastland
What’s Oprah’s connection to the Eastland? The answer is simply, Harpo Studios. The building at 1058 W. Washington Street has a long and fascinating history here in Chicago. Harpo Studios was originally a cold storage warehouse used, at the time of the Eastland in 1915, as an armory for the Second Regiment National Guard. According... Read more »