The Regional Guide - 2018/2019 - 24
Fiery hell descended on Peshtigo the night of October 8, 1871, mutilating northern Wisconsin with a
livid scar of death and destruction still unequaled in the tragic annals of the world's great fire.
Within a few short hours the lives of 800 persons were snuffed out in an inferno of flame and terror.
A flourishing saw mill town was leveled to a desert of smoking ashes, its streets strewn with the
blackened bodies of men, women and children. Miles of rich farm and wood lands were scorched
into desolation and littered with the seared corpses of burned victims. And yet, for decades, the
horrors of the Peshtigo fire remained forgotten in history, obscured by the more widely known
holocaust that devoured a part of Chicago that very same night in one of fates grim coincidences.
Chicago reckoned its toll only in the number of its homeless survivors and its gutted buildings, while
Peshtigo measured its losses in stark figures of dead and injured, and total destruction.
Peshtigo Times, Peshtigo, WI
Peshtigo Fire Museum 400 Oconto Ave.
Peshtigo, WI 715-582-3244