Hand colored photo from between 1868 Original title: View from dome of City Hall, looking N.E Photographer: Copelin & Melander Location: Randolph & Clark, Chicago, IL
Col Woods museum, had a long history of burning down. The museum was founded in 1864, he had a great number of unusual finds (he was very similar to Barnum's museum). He had a sixty cases of birds, sheets of papyri that had once belonged to Joseph Smith (founder of the Latter Day saints movement), a pair of mummies, assorted reptiles, a panorama of London, many model ships, paintings of Indians, a rifle owned by Daniel Boone, a scale model of the Parthenon, the "Great Zeuglodon" (which was a 96 foot long skeleton of a Basilosaurus, and more, and all for just 25 cents ($4.80 in today's money).
Then it burned down in 1871 during the great fire, this entire area was destroyed. So he rebuilt it and opened in 1875, with all new exhibits. Then it burned down again. Then he opened it again in 1884, he ran that one out of the Olympia Theatre Building, which he leased, there was a restaurant on the main floor, and the rest of the building was filled with novelties. There was no information how long the final museum lasted, or if it burned down also.
A.H. Miller Jeweler (Abner Halsey), was housed in the McCarthy building. Built in 1865, using mostly marble. There were entrances on both sides, and they had a large showroom of items they made. The interior resembled the elegance of a fine resort. With large doors and windows and a lot of glass. They had huge showcases, standing at 6ft x 8ft in a single sheet of glass, 31in deep framed in plated metal and marble they were the largest cases in America. They had solid carved walnut tables, all kinds of marble decorations, it was a museum in itself. They sold all sorts of jewelry, and silverware.
It was said that as the fire spread across the city, people saw embers land in the awnings, there it sat in the folds of the cloth holding the flame in place, and allowed the flames to really take hold and burn the building down.
August 1st, 2023
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