Chicago’s warm Easter Sunday of 1977 and the Berwyn Lumber Yard Fire
A recent column addressed an Easter ice storm in 1978. As I recall, the previous Easter was very warm and, to add to the heat, a Berwyn lumber yard was destroyed by fire.
— Diane Callahan Mastny
Your memories are correct. Easter Sunday, April 10, 1977, remains the city’s warmest Easter on record as the mercury soared to an unseasonable 85 degrees on a day with cloudless skies and strong gusty southwest winds. (The 1970s featured two other unusually warm Easters — 83 degrees in 1971 and 82 in 1976.) The day was marked by the major fire that destroyed the Berwyn Lumber Yard, causing more than a million dollars in damage to the facility. The heat from the fire was so intense that spectators more than a mile away described it as unbearable. The day’s strong winds and low humidity were undoubtedly major factors in spreading the fire.