Multiple movies, television shows, books, and other fictional and non-fictional stories have been told about the Great Chicago Fire which burned on October 8th, 1871, but did you know that from October 7th until the 10th, a rash of fires spread across the Mid-west?
First, a little bit about the most famous of the Mid-west fires, the Great Chicago
|Chicago Fire 1871
|Aftermath of the Chicago fire 1871
Two Hundred and fifty miles away from Chicago in Peshtigo, Wisconsin another fire raged. Though historically overshadowed by the Chicago city inferno, the Peshtigo blaze was the most devastating fire in U.S history. It began in the forest, no one knows exactly how or where. Flames moved so quickly that it raced through the small town of Sugar Bush, killing every resident. High winds and dry
On October 8th, across Lake Michigan multiple fires tore through small and large towns alike. On the west coast, Holland, Michigan and Manistee, Michigan both
So, what caused these simultaneous Midwest fires? Some have said embers—some say the dry conditions, warm temperatures and very high winds were the culprit. One theory that has been proposed claims that as the earth passed through the tail of a comet, the debris ignited fires through the Midwest. Apparently, including a steamship passing through the Manitou Islands in Lake Michigan which reported a spontaneous fire on the deck of the boat.
After more than a hundred years, why or how these fires started is still a mystery, but what is known is that October 8th, 1871 was a day of death, destruction and terror throughout the Midwest—one which I hope is never again repeated in history.
Thanks for stopping by Heroes, Heroines and History. Stay warm and safe until we meet again in February.
Award winning author, Michele K. Morris’s love for historical fiction began when she first read Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House book series. She grew up riding horses and spending her free time in the woods of mid-Michigan. Married to her high school sweetheart, they are living happily-ever-after with their six children, three in-loves, and ten grandchildren in the sunshine state. Michele loves to hear from readers on Facebook, Twitter, and through the group blog, Heroes, Heroines, and History at HHHistory.com. She is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency.