Amelia Desrochers - Peshtigo Fire Survivor

Amelia Desrochers - Peshtigo Fire Survivor American History Disasters Social Studies Nineteenth Century Life Tragedies and Triumphs

Amelia Desrochers was a young girl when the Peshtigo fire erupted on the night of October 8, 1871.  One of five children, she and her siblings - together with her mother - went to the river to seek safety.  Her father stayed behind, trying to save their home.

After the disaster, Amelia and her family returned home.  Her father had been blinded by the fire's smoke.  The first thing he wanted to know, when his family returned, was whether everyone was safe.  They were.

Decades later, in 1959, Amelia Desrochers remembered the events of that awful time.  She told her story, in an audio interview, which the Wisconsin Historical Society maintains in its archives.  She was 99 years old at the time.

We can hear that audio recording, and see its accompanying colored illustrations, thanks to the generosity of the Historical Society.  It is online, via YouTube.


Media Credits

Photo of Amelia Desrochers, online courtesy Peshtigo Times.


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"Amelia Desrochers - Peshtigo Fire Survivor" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 07, 2013. Jul 23, 2018.
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