The Great Conflagration. Chicago Its Past, Present and Future.

The Great Conflagration. Chicago: Its Past, Present and Future.


The title page of this book goes on for quite a bit longer. It continues: Embracing a Detailed Narrative of the Great Conflagration in The North, South, and West Divisions: Origin, Progress and Results of the Fire. Prominent Buildings Burned, Character of Buildings, Losses and Insurance, Graphic Description of the Flames, Scenes and Incidents, Loss of Life, The Flight of the People. Also, A condensed History of Chicago, Its Population, Growth and Great Public Works. And A Statement of All the Great Fires of the World. . . With Numerous Illustrations.

If that title alone doesn’t entice you to adopt this book, I am not sure what else could tempt you to! The book is definitely broad in scope but there are a good 10 pages devoted strictly to insurance losses, including a list of companies that sustained losses in the fire, and, in some cases the total losses they incurred.

The book does not mislead, there are numerous illustrations and it does provide information on “great fires” generally. In some cases, the great fire section  provides information on the losses, for example: City of New York; 300 buildings destroyed; loss $6,000,000. June 20th 1845. This section of the book, might some day prove to be invaluable to a researcher.


As you can see, the book is in desperate condition. The pages are very brittle and the cover boards are completely unattached to what little is left of the binding. Because of how far gone the book is, the best option at this point is to make a clam shell box. The box will protect the book and prevent further damage. The cost is for to make the custom box is $75. To adopt this book please contact Meagan Stefanow at







Binding with Cover Not Attached


Close up of Binding


Title Page


Illustration of the City on Fire


Illustrations of Two Damaged Churches (notice the binding pulling apart)