NOTE: This web site does not belong to the Peshtigo
Fire Museum or the Peshtigo Historical Society, and I am not
their representative. I cannot answer questions about museum
tours, hours of operation, etc. You must contact the museum
directly (by mail or telephone) for that information.
400 Oconto Avenue
Peshtigo, WI 54157
Open May to October (call
for information on off-season and group tours)
Admission is free, but donations are accepted.
How to get there:
U.S. Hwy. 41 North to Peshtigo. From Hwy. 41 (French Street)
turn left at Ellis Avenue, one block before the traffic light.
The museum is straight ahead, on the corner of Ellis and Oconto
Avenue. Click here for maps and more about
The Peshtigo Fire Museum is located on the site of the Catholic church that
Father Pernin lost in the fire. The building itself was the first church
rebuilt in Peshtigo after the fire, but is
not original to the site. It is actually the former
Congregational church, which was moved across the river after
the Catholic church was destroyed by fire (again) in 1927. When St. Mary
Parish later built a new church on Ellis
Avenue, the building was acquired by the Peshtigo Historical Society. It has been
home to the Peshtigo Fire Museum since 1963.
Due to the near total devastation
of the village in the fall of 1871, the museum has only a few artifacts
salvaged from the fire -- notable among them the tabernacle
that Father Pernin rescued from his church. The remainder of
the collection is devoted to the whole of the area's history and
consists of many interesting items.
The Peshtigo Fire Cemetery
adjoining the museum building contains many graves of fire
victims, as well as others (the last burial there was in 1916).
The Mass Grave contains the remains of up to 350 unidentified fire
The museum is open
from Memorial Day through October 8 each year and is staffed
entirely by volunteers. Admission is free, but donations are
welcome to help offset operational costs.
There were 11,555 visitors to the museum in 2000,
representing all 50 U.S.
states, Washington, D.C. and 22 foreign countries. Thirty-one group tours were
(Source: Peshtigo Historical Society, as reported to the Peshtigo Times.)