Wednesday, July 26, 2023

The Great Chicago Fire raged on Oct. 8, 1871, but it wasn’t the deadliest fire to occur that night.

Learn about the Great Peshtigo Fire that killed more than 1,200 people at the History at Home program at the Fond du Lac Public Library.

Researcher Karen Vincent Humiston will visit the McLane Room on Thursday, Aug. 10 at 6 p.m. to discuss the devastating forest fire that killed more people than the Chicago fire.

The Peshtigo Fire was responsible for burning in excess of 1.2 million acres of forest, damaging multiple communities. But it was in Peshtigo that 800 people died as strong winds drove the fire. In 2023 dollars, the damage cost by the fire exceeded $120 million.

Humiston, a family history researcher, spent years researching the Great Peshtigo Fire. She is currently working on a book about the event.

History at Home programs focus on stories about the area's past every month. Programs are held on the second Thursday of every month at 6 pm in the McLane Room. The programs are free; no registration is necessary to attend. Those who are unable to attend in person may watch live via Facebook at Many History at Home programs also are captured on video and shared on the library's YouTube channel.