Inventory of the Peshtigo Fire Centennial Collection, 1970 – 1990
Abstract: The Peshtigo Fire of October 8, 1871 was the deadliest wildfire in United States history. The fire was centered on Peshtigo, a lumber town in northeastern Wisconsin, located on the Peshtigo River about six miles upstream from Lake Michigan's Green Bay. Fires in the surrounding woods hit the Peshtigo area on the evening of October 8th, 1871. In the hour between nine and ten o'clock that night, the town of Peshtigo was entirely destroyed. In total, at least 1,200 lives were lost as the fire spread devastation through northeastern Wisconsin, around Green Bay, and into Michigan's Upper Peninsula.
The collection includes materials documenting the centennial commemorations of the Peshtigo Fire in 1971. Contained in the collection are event programs, commemorative items, publications, letters, newspaper clippings, photographs, and other materials.
Title: Peshtigo Fire Centennial Collection, 1970 - 1990
Creator: Baumann, Karl W.
Repository: Forest History Society Library and Archives
Call Number: 7899
Language of Material: Material in English
Extent: 0.5 linear ft. (1 archival box)
The Peshtigo Fire of October 8, 1871 was the deadliest wildfire in United States history. The fire was centered on Peshtigo, a lumber town in northeastern Wisconsin, located on the Peshtigo River about six miles upstream from Lake Michigan's Green Bay. Fires in the surrounding woods hit the Peshtigo area on the evening of October 8th, 1871. In the hour between nine and ten o'clock that night, the town of Peshtigo was entirely destroyed. In total, at least 1,200 lives were lost as the fire spread devastation through northeastern Wisconsin, around Green Bay, and into Michigan's Upper Peninsula. The majority of the fire's victims were in the immediate Peshtigo area. Despite this being the most devastating forest fire in American history, the Peshtigo Fire was immediately overshadowed by the Great Chicago Fire that occurred on the same day -- October 8, 1871.
In 1971, commemorative centennial observances were held in the town of Peshtigo on the weekend of Friday, October 8th to Sunday, October 10th. A series of events marked the 100th anniversary of the fire, recognizing the fire's historical importance and paying tribute to the thousands of lives lost. Peshtigo mayor Henry Drees and the Peshtigo Fire Centennial Committee organized the weekend's events.
- Programs, Letters, Publications, Clippings, and Other Materials, 1970-1990
- Forest fires
- Forest fires -- Wisconsin -- Peshtigo -- History -- 19th century
- Peshtigo Fire, Peshtigo, Wis., 1871
- Peshtigo (Wis.) -- History
Detailed Description of the Collection
1. Programs, Letters, Publications, Clippings, and Other Materials, 1970-1990.
- Folder 1
Event Programs and Press Release, 1971-1972, and undated
- Includes programs of centennial events, and press release from Peshtigo Fire Centennial Committee.
- Folder 2
Centennial Seal, 1971
- Includes centennial seal decals and stamps, as well as an article on the design of the seal.
- Folder 3
Centennial Commemorative Items, 1971
- Includes souvenir wooden coins, bumper sticker, commemorative envelopes, and other items.
- Folder 4
Maps, 1971 and undated
- Includes maps of Peshtigo, Wisconsin; maps of Marinette County; maps of the 1971 Peshtigo Fire Centennial events.
- Folder 5
Karl Baumann correspondence, 1971-1986, and undated
- Letters and correspondence of Peshtigo Fire Centennial Committee member Karl Baumann.
- Folder 6
Newspaper Clippings, 1971
- Newspaper articles discussing 1971 Peshtigo Fire centennial.
- Folder 7
Newspaper Clippings, 1982-1989, and undated
- Newspaper articles discussing 1871 Peshtigo Fire, and various anniversaries.
- Folder 8
- Includes The Great Peshtigo Fire by Reverend Peter Pernin, 3 copies; Wisconsin Magazine of History, Summer, 1971 issue; Wisconsin Conservation Bulletin, July-August, 1971 issue.
- Folder 9
Publications, 1970-1990, and undated
- Miscellaneous publications and photocopies of articles from various dates discussing the Peshtigo Fire.
- Folder 10
U.S. Forest Service Materials, 1971
- Includes bookmarks, prints, and poster featuring Peshtigo Fire artwork by Rudy Wendelin. Also includes 1971 letter from Jay H. Cravens, Regional Forester, to the Peshtigo Fire Centennial Committee.
- Folder 11
- 4 color prints of Peshtigo Fire Cemetery; 8 color negatives.
The nature of the Forest History Society's archival holdings means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. The Forest History Society claims only physical ownership of most archival materials.
The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.
[Identification of item], Peshtigo Fire Centennial Collection, Library and Archives, Forest History Society, Durham, NC, USA.
Received from Karl W. Baumann in August 2010
Processed by Eben Lehman, October 2011
Encoded by Eben Lehman, October 2011
Support for digitization and outreach provided by the Alvin J. Huss Endowment.