Cherry Coal Mine Disaster

Model Pics Set One
Cherry Mine Disaster Story
Story of Disaster by Steve Stout
The Fatal Day
Story in a Nutshell
Mine Site photos
Description of Cherry Mine
James Cherry
page two mine pics
Page Three Mine Pics
Page four Mine photos
Page Five Mine Photos
Page Six Mine Photos
Page Seven Mine Photos
Page Eight Mine Photos
Page Nine Mine Photos
Bell Signals etc.
Page Ten Mine photos
New Mine photos
Aerial Views
Cherry Mine Artifacts
Sunday Morning Crowds
Cherry Mine Model
Model Pics Set Two
Twelve Heroes Story
John Flood: Hero
Alex Norberg (Hero)
Read about Eight-Day Men
John Thomas Brown
George Eddy
Which Story Deserves Movie?
The Memorial and More
Miners Tombstones
Cherry Depot
Soldier Trains and more
Morgue Tent
Names of Victims
Names of Victims section two
Coal Mining Words
Map Diagrams
No Respect For History
The Day the Tipple Fell
Farewell letters
Sam Howard's Letter
More on the Subject
"Oneness" Press release
TRAPPED: Karen Tintori's new book
Ray Tutaj Model Projects
Last Days of The Milwaukee Road
Milwaukee Road Car
St. Paul Coal Mine Office
Remembering the disaster.
100th Anniversary/Car Show
100th Anniversary Photos
100th Anniversary photos by Candy Brown
100th Anniversary pics from Karen Tintori
We need Your Help (1909 song)
Cherry Word Puzzle
Favorite Links
About me
Tour of Mine Site
Contact Me
100th Anniversary Documentary Available and More!
Cherry Mine Disaster Historical Society
T-Shirts, Sweatshirts etc.(100th anniv.)
Train Photo CDs Available
Train Video DVD's Available
Train -e-books NEW!
Workers Compensation
Cherry MIne Enthusiasts Remembered
How You Can Help

The Model of the Cherry Coal Mine
Built by Ray Tutaj Jr. for Cherry Illinois, and on display at the public library there.



Series 1 of 10 picture 1 of 4.

When the coal miners walked to work on the morning of Nov. 13th, 1909 the sky was clear and it was unseasonably warm. Little did they know the day would be written in the pages of history. The mine disaster would be the worst in the nation.

Only Black and white photos exist of the Cherry mine site, because the use of color film was still decades away. But in June of 1999 I was able to photograph the model I built of the mine site. I took numerous pictures with color film. As mentioned before, I set up the entire layout outdoors. I wanted the real sky and horizon as my backdrop. I was very pleased with the way the photos came out. This photo below is an overall view of the site looking northwest. Every year until 2009, which will mark the 100th anniversary, I will release a new set of photos of the model from this outdoor photo session.

Steam Engine working near boiler house and tipple.
This photo is one of the four photos included in set or series one.

The model of the Tipple
Another photograph from set one from the 90th anniversary.


The Model of the Cherry Coal Mine site.

In a nutshell, I was totally consumed by the story of the Cherry Mine disaster as anyone would be who took the time to read about it. Having the knack to build models I undertook a major project of building a replica of what the 1909 mine site looked like. It took me about a year and a half to build it. I used maps and diagrams and B&W historic photographs to model from.

Upon completion, I assembled the entire layout outdoors for a color photo shoot. Against the backdrop of a blue sky and the illumination of natural sunlight it would make the model, I worked so hard on come to life. The pictures came out so well that I was able to submit them to the Model Railroading Magazine for publication. Also I made available to the public a set of pictures for the Anniversary of the disaster every November 13th. The model combined with the photos is a way to help perpetuate the memory of the tragedy at Cherry IL.


Actual coal from mine in cars!

Exclusive pics of the HO scale model
Picture four from set one. Late afternoon train working near the coal office.