Today mark's the 107th anniversary of the the General Slocum disaster. You likely know about this tragedy. The S.S. General Slocum was a paddle steamer packed with mothers and children on a church trip that caught fire in the East River. More than 1,000 people, mainly residents of the East Village's German community, died.
Prior to Sept, 11, 2001, the burning of the General Slocum had the highest death toll of any disaster in New York City history.
Ephemeral New York has more on the tragedy here and here. You can find more Slocum resources here.
By coincidence, a worker was trying to clean a tag off the Slocum Memorial Fountain in Tompkins Square Park yesterday. Dave on 7th, who took the photo, said the worker was unaware of the anniversary.
The City dedicated the fountain in 1906. Per the Parks & Recreation website:
The Slocum Memorial Fountain by sculptor Bruno Louis Zimm was donated by the Sympathy Society of German Ladies and installed in Tompkins Square Park, a central feature of the neighborhood. The nine foot upright stele is made of pink Tennessee marble with a low relief of two children looking seaward as well as a lionhead spout.