Cleveland, OH Euclid Beach Park Boat Crush, Jun 1897


Two Thousand Excited People Nearly Sink a Boat.

Women Fainted and Men Swore.

An Exciting Scene is Witnessed on the Docks as a Euclid Beach Park Boat is Starting for her Destination—Several Officers are Crowded Into the Water in an Effort To Beat Back the Crowd.

A rush for places on the Euclid Beach park boat Thursday night nearly ended in several fatalities. As it was several women were badly crushed, a large number fainted and several persons were forced into the water.

The crush occurred at the boat landing near the Superior street viaduct at 8 o’clock, when the last boat leaves for the park. At that time there were fully 2,000 persons on the dock who intended to board the boat. As the law permits but 750 persons to be carried on each trip of the boat it was plainly evident that over half of the prospective passengers would have to forge the trip. Each and every one did not intend to be left behind and as soon as the gangplank was thrown out there was a rush to get aboard. The captain, purser, engineer and fireman fought and struggled with the crowd in an effort to hold the people in check.

It was useless and they swarmed aboard at every point, and in less than a minute fully 1,000 persons were on the boat. Those on the dock still fought for standing room on the boat and a squad of six officers was sent for. The officers formed a living chain at the edge of the dock and tried to force the people’s back. It was useless, and in trying to save himself Patrolman Anderson and several other persons were forced off the dock. Several of them fell in the water and were rescued with difficulty. Anderson fell on the fender stroke of the boat and was pulled aboard.

The police, fearing disastrous results, charged the crowd with their clubs and finally succeeded in forcing it back sufficiently to allow the boat to pull away. Several women who fainted during the jam were badly bruised by being trampled on before they were rescued.

The wild scenes of Thursday night were repeated last night. Fully 1,200 persons endeavored to board the last boat. Everyone tried to get on and the five policemen detailed to hold the crowd in check found they had a bigger task than they had anticipated. Their helmets were knocked from their heads and they were almost on the point of charging with their clubs when the boat was loaded and pulled away. During the rush several women fainted and were dragged through the crowd. The cause of the rush during the past few days was the free distribution of tickets to the park.

Superintendent of Police Corner has recommended to the director of public works that a suitable railing be built on the dock to protect the lives of the people.

Plain Dealer, Cleveland, OH 12 Jun 1897