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More filters. Sort order. Apr 06, Rebecca Huston rated it really liked it Shelves: 19th-century , america , non-fiction , hfu-ba-degree-history , around-the-us-inbooks , wisconsin. This was one chiller of a story, and yes, it really happened. Everyone knows about the great fire in Chicago in October But did you know that on that same day a town in northern Wisconsin was burned to the ground, with a loss of life that is estimated to be between 1, and 2, people.

Well written with plenty of maps, photographs and drawings and advertising from the time. Recommended for anyone interested in the American frontier. Four stars overall. For the longer review, please go h This was one chiller of a story, and yes, it really happened. Dec 16, Jeanette rated it liked it. Very horrific in detail. Happening in on the same day as the Chicago fire, this WI tale relates the scientific and the historic events surrounding the massive firestorm which birthed "gustados" of approximately degrees F.

Country Cousin

Up to in 17 towns incinerated to calcified ash in hours. As opposed to about deaths in Chicago, the reasons of science and of marketing obscures this reality in comparison, IMHO. And to the "faults" this is five star for meteorology and physics of under groun Very horrific in detail.

And to the "faults" this is five star for meteorology and physics of under ground ignition and fire wall movements. To the participants 4 star, especially for input and outcomes re Ogden.

But for cohesion to writing style, it is three. And it is so realistically grizzly that I cannot round it up. I am glad I read it. There was so much complete malarkey in my early life about the fires. Closer to reality are facts which have very little to do with humans at all. And it could happen in the North American continent again.

Montana had one since. It turns sand to glass and even earth burns away. View all 3 comments. Oct 12, Dave Gaston rated it really liked it.

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A slow build, but worth the wait for the firestorm. A simple book and a wild, wild story!

Damn Interesting

Fantastic visual descriptions of the incredible calamity that quite literally engulfed seven entire towns in a monster curtain of fire. Poignant eyewitness tales abound. I read this book 3 years ago and can still recall some horrific scenes and some visual lessons in how fire moves and morphs. I've read a dozen books on firestorms, this one ranks at the top. A little gem worth discovering. Oct 11, Becca rated it really liked it Shelves: nonfiction , well-written , reviewed-by-me , true-stories , history.

This story is incredible and tragic, which makes sense considering that it chronicles the deadliest fire in U. My feelings are hard to really express. This is not a peaceful book, and there are no happy endings. At the same time it's beautiful--yet extremely tragic--and definitely gory. The skilled writing adds a lot. The book is co-authored by a historian and a novelist, so while it's well-researched nonfiction, it has some of the qualities of a novel.


  • ‘The night America burned’: The deadliest — and most overlooked — fire in U.S. history.
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That makes for a quick, enjoyabl This story is incredible and tragic, which makes sense considering that it chronicles the deadliest fire in U. That makes for a quick, enjoyable read. The best thing about this book is that it's been on a bookshelf at home for the past 11 years, and I just discovered it's excellence!

Manual The Great Peshtigo Fire (The Time-Train Adventures Book 3)

Nov 15, Yael rated it it was amazing. On October 8, , a wildfire of appalling proportions erupted in the region surrounding Peshtigo, Wisconsin, which was located a few miles west of the Green Bay portion of Lake Michigan. Far larger and more destructive than the great Chicago Fire which erupted the same day -- later, it was determined that a ferocious weather-system holding the entire region in its relentless grip was responsible for both fires as well as other fires that erupted nearby -- the firestorm that incinerated Peshtig On October 8, , a wildfire of appalling proportions erupted in the region surrounding Peshtigo, Wisconsin, which was located a few miles west of the Green Bay portion of Lake Michigan.

Far larger and more destructive than the great Chicago Fire which erupted the same day -- later, it was determined that a ferocious weather-system holding the entire region in its relentless grip was responsible for both fires as well as other fires that erupted nearby -- the firestorm that incinerated Peshtigo and surrounding towns accounted for an official body-count of 2, souls, and unofficially, for far more, including the trappers, tramps, homeless people, explorers, fishermen, Indians, and wild animals that must have died in the fire.

Strangely, though fires had been burning for weeks in surrounding towns, mountains of pine slash and sawdust from local lumber mills lay everywhere, and the weather had been arid and hotter than normal all summer, most of the citizens of Peshtigo did not take alarm at these conditions and flee to safer areas. They had been told by scientists who supposedly knew what they were talking about that "fires generate rain" an illusion created by the fact that the heat from wildfires push up already existing mammatus clouds and keep them from dropping their burden of rain until the fire is out and similar soothing platitudes, and as leaving would entail hardship and, probably loss of income, they told themselves that the rains would come soon and any fire danger would be over.


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  8. Unfortunately, the rains didn't come. Instead, that hellish inversion socked in over Wisconsin, Michigan, northern Illinois, and Minnesota, driving temperatures up and up and up, robbing even more moisture from already dangerously dehydrated vegetation and the mill detritus, and setting the stage for a disaster whose like had never before been experienced. The result was a firestorm of epic proportions, "natural" in that it was not set by human hands, but nevertheless the product of human ignorance, stupidity, and greed.

    But while the great Chicago fire is remembered in song and story, the firestorm at Peshtigo was very nearly forgotten by everyone but those who had been injured and lost loved ones and all they owned there for decades. Finally historians are beginning to memorialize the Peshtigo disaster as it deserves to be remembered and analyzed.

    Oct 15, Jennifer W rated it liked it Shelves: non-fiction. Totally fascinating story about a much larger and deadlier fire that took place on the same date as the infamous Chicago Fire of October 8 This one also may have had an F5 tornado during its outburst, but no one can confirm that. Likely over people died in the Peshtigo blaze, compared to about people in Chicago. So while weather and history are fun subjects for me, the writing in the book dropped this one down to a 3 star read in better hands, I'm sure I could have given this 5 s Totally fascinating story about a much larger and deadlier fire that took place on the same date as the infamous Chicago Fire of October 8 So while weather and history are fun subjects for me, the writing in the book dropped this one down to a 3 star read in better hands, I'm sure I could have given this 5 stars.

    I can't tell if it's because there's not as much recorded detail about this fire, if too many of the witnesses died, or if the writer's a hack, but this story should have been much more gripping than it was. For example, towards the end of the book, the author speaks of an early meteorologist who claimed that there were flammable gases in the air around Peshtigo. The author shows that another scientist disagreed.


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    The author then states that the meteorologist was right, but doesn't say what gases were present, how they got there, how the meteorologist came to suspect they were there, or how the author now knows that they were actually present. Still, I'm glad I read it, I just hope someday someone with better talent or better research comes along and writes a better version. You probably know The Great Chicago Fire. Only, did you know that "The Fire" was really the 31st and 32nd fires of that month?

    Did you know that people died in that fire? The firestorm that swept the Peshtigo area killed between 1, and 2, people.

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    Entire families died by burns, suffocation, or starvation because of the firestorm. While both are tragedies, I can't help but wonder why the Chicago Fire is one that everyone remembers. Well written. Entertaining as well as horrifying. View 1 comment. Sep 05, Jennifer Fetterly rated it really liked it. Great historical novel on small-town Wisconsin tragedy. Interesting information on how the Peshtigo Times covered the event and helped the community recover. Dec 21, Missy Ivey rated it really liked it Shelves: non-fiction. A little slow taking off, but gets better after Chapter 8 when the fire begins.

    The author does a pretty good job describing a play by play of what people were doing the minute up to the fire when they realized they had to run. There are photos of a few of the survivors and town officials who played a huge part in the recovery efforts. This f A little slow taking off, but gets better after Chapter 8 when the fire begins. This fire was part of the Great Chicago Fire of , which was the main headlines in all the newspapers. Chicago boasted that this was the greatest fire in history; therefore, they received the majority of the news coverage.

    But, the greater hell was in Peshtigo and the surrounding towns in Wisconsin where thousands of people lost their lives, survivors witnessed their loved ones, friends and neighbors burned alive in an instant. And those who made it to the river, burned and drowned in the river. Those who walked out of the river were badly burned. Of Peshtigo's residents, approximately 1, of them died on that day. All their stories are collected in these pages.

    Plus, more people died in the surrounding towns. The exact number of people who died will never be known. Charred remains were found even a few years after the fire. There was no official count ever taken. On the night of October 8, , Peshtigo, a booming town of people, was wiped out of existence in the greatest forest fire disaster in American history. Loss of life and even property in the great fire occurring the same night in Chicago did not match the death toll and destuction visited upon northeastern Wisconsin during the same dreadful hours.

    The town of Peshtigo was centered around a woodenware factory, the largest in the country. Every bulding in the community was lost.