Podcast | Making Wisconsin: “The Forgotten Fire” of 1871

Published: Oct. 25, 2021 at 1:12 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - On October 8, 1871, two fires were set ablaze. Though one is likely written in your history books and one has been left to the ashes.

While the Great Chicago Fire was burning through the Windy City, there was a much more disastrous event happening here at home: The Peshtigo Fire.

150 years ago, The Great Fire of 1871 destroyed Peshtigo, burning down all but one building and killing 800 people in the city alone, according to The Peshtigo Fire Museum.

Charlie and Gabriella walk us through what caused this natural disaster — including weather patterns and standard industry practices of the time — as well as why it could never happen again. We also hear from Barb Englebert Chisolm, who does historical reenactments of how her ancestors survived the fire.

Additional resources:

WBAY’s coverage of the Peshtigo fire:

Previous 'Making Wisconsin' episodes
The Wisconsin Accent

Between the yeah’s ... er no’s, where do these specific phrases and dialects come from?

Remembering the Sterling Hall bombing

In the first half of this episode, NBC15′s Charlie Shortino and Gabriella Rusk take a look back at that day and the events that led up to the bombing. Then, we hear from Phil Little, who was part of the official response to the Sterling Hall bombing.

Sterling Hall headlines
9/11 in their own words

Twenty years after one of the most tragic days in American history, the memories remain fresh.

Remembering local victims of 9/11 attacks

Copyright 2021 WMTV. All rights reserved.