October 8, 1871: The Great Michigan Fire

Marquette Township Fire Department House Fire - December 2004 - Marquette, Michigan

Marquette Township Fire Department House Fire – December 2004 – Marquette, Michigan, photo by djarvinen.

The Great Michigan Fire of 1871 on Absolute Michigan today begins:

“A sky of flame, of smoke a heavenful, the earth a mass of burning coals, the mighty trees, all works of man between and living things trembling as a child before a demon in the gale. To those who have seen, the picture needs no painting.”
-a history of Sanilac County

The Chicago Fire of 1871 gets (justifiably) a great deal of attention. Something that is not as well known is the fact that it was only one of a number of major fires across the Midwest that burned millions of acres and caused over 1200 deaths. The worst of these destroyed the city of Peshtigo, Wisconsin which killed over 800 people. Michigan was dealt grievous blows from “The Fiery Fiend” as fires swept across the state, wiping out or endangering entire cities, towns and villages including Holland, Manistee, Grand Rapids, South Haven and Port Huron doing millions of dollars worth of property damage and killing hundreds.

I hope that you can click over and read it all!

This photo is part of a set of photos from a Marquette house fire.

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