Remembering the General Slocum Disaster in the East Village

Janes Walk


Led By Aislinn Klein, Advocacy Associate, Municipal Art Society

This walk will examine the General Slocum disaster of June 15, 1904, which devastated the former Kleindeutschland (“Little Germany”) neighborhood in what is now Manhattan’s East Village and Lower East Side. The General Slocum disaster claimed the lives of 1,021 people, mainly women and children from Kleindeutschland. It was the deadliest civilian disaster in New York City before the 9/11 attacks nearly a century later. Almost as many lives were lost as in the sinking of the Titanic in 1912, but curiously, many New Yorkers have not heard of the General Slocum.

A marble fountain in Tompkins Square Park is one of the few monuments and memorials that exist for this tragedy. This fountain, erected in 1906, was restored through MAS’s Adopt-a-Monument program, and will be featured on the tour. The tour will also explore some of the history of Kleindeutschland, which had 150,000 people of German descent at its height. Tour stops will include the former German-American Shooting Society Clubhouse on St. Mark’s Place, the NYPL Ottendorfer Library on 2nd Avenue, and the former German Evangelical Lutheran Church of St. Mark, now Community Synagogue on East 6th Street. Some caution is advised as recounting parts of the tragedy may be highly sensitive. This tour intends to pay respects and remember the victims and survivors of the General Slocum, their families, and their community.


The walk will be wheelchair accessible, we may be walking through certain areas of the East Village may be narrow and somewhat crowded.

Location Information

RSVP is required and capacity is limited. Meeting location, ending location, and directions will be provided via email before walk date.


Sunday, May 7, 2023
11:00 AM
Over an hour

Borough: Manhattan
Theme: Art & Architecture, History & Culture
Language: English
On June 15, 1904, the PS General Slocum caught fire and sank in the East River. Illustration: Wikimedia Commons, Angelo Agostini.