A Chicago teacher wants you to connect with a Windy City of the past to keep our history alive

FILE - In this July 24, 1915 file photo, passengers are rescued as they stand atop The Eastland passenger ship after the vessel capsized in the Chicago River in downtown Chicago. As it was preparing to leave the dock, the Eastland rolled over, trapping passengers in the lower decks, where 844 drowned or were suffocated. On Friday, July 24, 2015 Chicago, historians and ancestors of the victims are marking the 100th anniversary of the disaster, the deadliest in city history. (AP Photo/File)

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Nearly daily, Chicago-area teacher Jim Bartholomew updates his blog Connecting the Windy City.

Screen shot of Jim Bartholomew’s profile on plus.google.com/photos

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Posting on news stories or major past events from the particular day in history, Mr. Bartholomew writes about a variety of topics, sending its readers on a trip down memory lane.

This week, for example, Bartholomew posted about the revealing of a fountain in Douglas Park in 1902, Marc Chagall’s windows at the Art Institute from 1976, the opening of the Museum of Science and Industry in 1933, and much more.

Screen shot of http://www.connectingthewindycity.com’s image

The blog is conveniently labeled and categorized, not only by topic, but in what year the events took place, as well.

The oldest post dates back to an event from 1849 about a rapid thaw of the Chicago River after a particularly harsh Winter, which caused chaos and devastation, shipwrecks and deaths and the continuing news events stemming from the 19th-century situation, discovered as recently as last year.

While sometimes the posts are entirely quotes from old news stories, Mr. Bartholomew regularly adds his own insights and editorials.

Old photos and illustrations are paired with the author’s own shots, as well.

Screen shot of http://www.connectingthewindycity.com’s image

Mr. Bartholomew does not reveal too much about himself otherwise, but a Reddit post does mention he was a high school teacher.

The blog dates back to 2009, and, as of last year, there were only a few days a new post was not shared.

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Considering the vast history of Chicago politics, sports, art, food, architecture, geography and more, there is no shortage of exciting history and trivia to be learned about on Connecting the Windy City.

What do you think?

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