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The River at Peshtigo

The River at Peshtigo American History Social Studies Tragedies and Triumphs Nineteenth Century Life Disasters

As a massive fire ravaged their town, people fled toward the Peshtigo River. 

Many individuals thought they would be safe there, but not everyone who made it to the river survived.

Other people thought they would be safe in smaller bodies of water.  That turned out badly for those who attempted that method of refuge. 

Dennis McCann tells us more in Badger Boneyards:

Refuge [from the massive fire] was scarce - and often turned out not to be refuge at all.  Some who sought safety in wells or small ponds were boiled to death.  Buildings burned before residents could flee, and the pace of the fire overtook many who sought to outrace it.

Many of those who did survive submerged themselves in the Peshtigo River, clinging to floating furniture or even horses and cows, raising their heads above the surface only long enough to gulp another breath of hot air.  (Badger Boneyards: The Eternal Rest of the Story, by Dennis McCann, page 109.)

This photograph depicts the Peshtigo River on a quiet, peaceful day.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5124stories and lessons created

Original Release: Oct 07, 2013

Updated Last Revision: Oct 22, 2017


Media Credits

Photo of Peshtigo River online, courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

 

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"The River at Peshtigo" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 07, 2013. Oct 22, 2017.
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