Wisconsin History Day By Day

Related Web Sites:
Tales of Heroism and Tragedy Swirl Around Fire

The Peshtigo Fire

Great Peshtigo Fire

Read More About It

The Great Peshtigo Fire: An Eyewitness Account by Peter Pernin

"Fire and Ice: Two Deadly Wisconsin Disasters"

"Fire at Peshtigo" by Robert Wells

"Firestorm at Peshtigo: A Town, Its People, and the Deadliest Fire in American History" by Denise Gess and William Lutz



Interesting Fact:

The majority of the survivors spent the entire night in streams, ponds or the Green Bay.

Study Questions:

  • What other famous fire occurred on the same day?
  • How was it possible for a fire to spread widely, so quickly?
  • How was the Peshtigo fire put out?

    Search these newspaper databases for additional stories about the Peshtigo fire:

  • Newspapers on BadgerLink
  • Wisconsin Historical Society

    U.S. historical events that occurred on October 8:

    1871: The Great Chicago Fire occurs.
    1956: New York Yankee Don Larsen pitches a perfect game in the World Series.

  • October 8

    October 8, 1871: The Peshtigo fire catastrophe began in Marinette County, but burned a half dozen counties as the fast spreading fire was aided by a long drought-ridden summer and fierce winds. Nearly 1,200 people were killed and several communities were completely destroyed on both sides of the Green Bay.

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