Cherry Mine Disaster Author Forum

Bureau County Historical Society and the Cherry Mine Disaster Museum

join forces to host authors forum on 1909 mining tragedy.

The Bureau County Historical Society will collaborate with the Cherry Mine Disaster Museum for a program in Cherry featuring writers and authors of books about the 1909 disaster.

The authors forum is a free event and will begin at 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 4, in Holy Trinity Hall, 103 N. Main St., Cherry, IL. Doors will open at 12:30 p.m.

“The Cherry Library is excited to bring so many authors to town to talk about something so important to our residents,” said Jennifer Ring, head librarian at the Cherry Mine Disaster Museum. “We hope that people will come listen to the authors tell their stories and then visit our museum and library to learn more about the Cherry Mine Disaster.”

The fiery disaster, which occurred on Nov. 13, 1909, claimed the lives of 259 men and boys.

“The Cherry Mine Disaster was an event that changed the course of labor in the United States,” said Lex Poppens, executive director for the Bureau County Historical Society. “We are excited to work with our peers in Cherry to inform the community on this important event.”

Authors scheduled to appear are:

Sally M. Walker, author of “Underground Fire: Hope, Sacrifice, and Courage in the Cherry                                                             Mine Disaster,” 2022.

Steve Stout, author of “Black Damp: The Story of the Cherry Mine Disaster,” 1979.

Karen Tintori (appearing electronically), author of “Trapped: The 1909 Cherry Mine Disaster,” 2003.

Ron Bluemer, author of “Fire Below! The Story of the 1909 Cherry Mine Disaster,” 2007.

Also speaking will Jack Rooney, a self-described Cherry Mine and Ravioli Alley buff, who will speak on surprising and newly discovered bits of Cherry history.

Rooney added, “We are very excited to have this rare gathering of Cherry Mine authors. We hope Cherry Mine fans from all over will attend.”

A quantity of signed and dated books from author Jim Ridings, who is not available to attend, will also be for sale.  His book, “The Illustrated History of the Cherry Mine Disaster of 1909,” was published in 2020.

Each author will speak on their books. Their comments will be followed by questions and answers from the audience. Attendees will be able to meet the authors as well. All authors’ books will be available for purchase at the event. For more information, contact Lex Poppens at 815-875-2184, or email Jennifer Ring, Cherry Mine Disaster Museum at