... to the most comprehensive source on the
World Wide Web for information about the great forest fires of
the evening of October 8, 1871 the worst recorded forest fire in
North American history raged through Northeastern Wisconsin and
Upper Michigan, destroying millions of dollars worth of property
and timberland, and taking between 1,200 and 2,400 lives.
The great Midwestern city of
Chicago also happened to endure a terrible fire that same
fateful night, and for whatever reasons -- an irresistibly
charming legend about a cow and a lantern among them -- the
Chicago Fire became part of the national consciousness while
the Peshtigo tragedy gradually slipped into obscurity, eventually
remembered primarily by scholars, local "old-timers" and Wisconsin school
children (who are required to study their state's history in the
In recent years America's "forgotten fire"
has proven to be anything but. The tragedy is a subject of
inquiry and debate among meteorologists, astronomers and
conservationists. It has been dramatized
by novelists and playwrights. It continues to fascinate history
buffs and frustrate genealogists.
The purpose of this site is to
gather and organize all the information about this historical
event into one comprehensive reference source. There's something
here for everyone.