Wisconsin History Day By Day

Related Web Sites:
Phillips, Wisconsin History

Wisconsin Historical Markers

Forest Fires in Wisconsin

Read More About It

"A Burned Town Result In A Year" New York Times, July 29, 1895

"Towns Are In Ashes Up In The Pineries," The Daily Gazette (Janesville) July 28, 1894

"Phillips in Ashes," The Marshfield Times, August 3, 1894


county seat

Interesting Fact:

Forest fires in early September of 1894 in northwest Wisconsin destroyed the towns of Rib Lake, Marengo and Bradshaw. A newspaper report called northwest Wisconsin "one immense sea of flames."

Study Questions:

  • How many years after the Peshtigo fire did these forest fires occur? Were the causes similar?
  • Locate on a Wisconsin map the counties that were affected by the forest fires. Find the location of Phillips.
  • Why haven't there been recent forest fires resulting in such widespread destruction?

    U.S. historical events that occurred on July 26:

    1788: New York becomes the 11th state to ratify the Constitution.
    1947: The National Security Act is signed by President Harry Truman.

  • July 26

    July 26, 1894: Devestating forest fires in northern Wisconsin began on July 26 and continued to burn for several days. The fires spread rapidly and did damage in portions of Douglas, Bayfield, Ashland, Chippewa, Pierce, Taylor, Marathon and Wood Counties. On July 27, a fire nearly destroyed the entire village of Phillips, the county seat of Price County. Over twenty people died as a result of the fires over a four day period.

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