Cherry Coal Mine Disaster

The Old 1910 Memorial and more

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 Memorial in the Cemetary in Cherry Illinois
Erected by the United Mine Workers in 1910

Here in the cemetary in Cherry just south of the slag piles is the memorial as seen at left.
The 90th anniversary was in 1999.  Each year the sign changes as we near the 100th anniversary of the disaster. In this cemetary you will find numerous tombstones of those young men who died in that terrible tragedy.  It is quite a hair raising experience to see these tombstones and to be so near to the remains of those precious young miners.

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What is left today in the year 2002
The building in the fan house area and walls of the boiler house.

IF THESE BRICK WALLS COULD SPEAK what would they tell us?  They might say, "I was there."  I seen the terrible tragedy. I witnessed the human agony and terror.  Smoke billowed around me and encompassed me. But i am still here as a memorial." 
    This particular structure is the only remaining bldg on the site today and i was fortunate enough to be allowed to photograph it with the permission of Charlie Bartoli who owns the land. For it is a no trespassing area.  Each time i see these brick walls i hear them trying to tell me of the mines glorious and infamous past. How it also was a thriving Coal mine. But now the wind howls sorrowfully through these open windows and the voices of those who worked the mine are engrained into the bricks. I would hope that this structure shall remain always, even if it must be reinforced. 
   The other remnants are the back and one side wall of the boiler house, and some of the steel girders at the main shaft. Although they are leaning eastward more and more each time i see them.  There is the foundation of the engine house too.  Charlie has found mine rail, a oil can with C. M & St. P on it and a mine railroad tie which he was nice enough to give to me.  See photo of Charlie Bartoli and I below.

Charles Bartoli and Ray Tutaj Jr.
Against the back wall of the boiler house.

Here I am with Charlie Bartoli seen at left.  If it wasn't for Charlie i just don't see how the building of the Model of the Cherry Coal mine would have been possible.  He helped me with much needed information and access to the mine site.  We measured the foundations of the buildings and he had many stories to tell me about his Father who bought the Mine from the Railroad in 1928.  I was able to use actual slag and coal from the mine site for my display.  He gave me a good idea of how the mine functioned as the information was handed down from his father. Charlie was just a young preteen child in the 30's and his dad along with the Cherry Coal Co. operated the mine until 1935. Then an iron salvage co. from Chicago bought the Tipple and salvaged it.  The mine had ceased operation totally. 
    As of 2002 Charlie is still known to climb the tall slag piles that the miners built. He often gives tours of the site as well as i do to groups of highschoolers and others interested.  I am so glad to have studied this minesite indepth because i feel as if i was there cause I see the whole layout of the mine so clearly.

The Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Depot
Cherry IL. had a depot and here it is. Mine is seen in left background.

  In 1904 when the mine had opened many miners would be brought in by train too.  However several hundreds lived in the new mining town that sprung up in the blink of an eye. Could you imagine the scene of construction in Cherry? It was a good and prosperous time. There was hope, because of the mine providing for so many miners and their families even though it was hard work.  As you can see from the photo, the tracks go north a ways and then take a left at a 45 degree angle toward the mine site.  There were quite a few tracks and much switching to do by the trains.  The depot had seperate waiting rooms and had a Wells Fargo Express.  It also had a lengthy brick platform and was a somewhat common design for Milwaukee Railroad depots. Passenger Trains came to the depot and then backed toward Ladd 3 miles to get back on the "main " track.

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