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Anniversary of the great Peshtigo fire October 8, 1871

October 8, 2023 – Peshtigo, WI – This story was first published in 2018 during the Amazing Ride for Alzheimer’s as washingtoncountyinsider.com editor, Judy Steffes passed through Peshtigo, WI.
Peshtigo, WI – In the summer of 2018 while on a fundraising bicycle tour, my niece Audrey and I visited the Peshtigo Fire Museum.


The Great Peshtigo fire

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Fire Prevention Week is observed each year during the week of Oct. 9 in commemoration of the Great Chicago Fire, which began October 8, 1871; the Peshtigo fire occurred the same day.

This Great Chicago Fire killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures, and burned more than 2,000 acres of land.

The Peshtigo fire was more devastating destroying 1.2 million acres and an estimated 2,500 people perished.

The fire came to a halt when it reached the shores of Lake Michigan.

– The Museum is reason alone to visit the community. A horrible historic event is well documented in paintings, stories, and a mass grave of unidentifiable neighbors and families that were swept up in the deadliest fire in America on October 8, 1871.

The stories were horrific and graphic.

Cast iron

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