Remembering the deadliest fire in US history

The deadliest fire in US history raged through Peshtigo, Wisconsin.

On October 8, 1871, a firestorm roared through Peshtigo and surrounding areas. It not only killed between 1,500-2,000 people, it but also destroyed the entire community and its livelihood. The Peshtigo Fire Museum preserves this heritage through:

  • storytelling,
  • exhibits of artifacts from the fire,
  • displays of the lifestyle at the time of the disaster, and
  • a cemetery to memorialize those who died.

The Fire Museum is housed in the first church built after the fire.

Gift Shop

A counter in the museum displays mementos and books available for purchase. (Online purchases are not available.)


 Open every day Memorial Day weekend through October 8th from 10am-4pm.


Admission is donation based and enables our museum to stay open. Thank you!


Museum workers are always available to share the story of the fire.
If your group has ten or more people, please fill out the Presentation Request Form or call 715-582-3244 (during the season only).


We are always looking for volunteers to help us at the museum.  Volunteers greet guests as they enter the museum and tell the story of the Peshtigo Fire.  Don’t worry if you feel that you do not know it well enough.  We will train you and you also pick up a lot of knowledge as you go.  Please consider volunteering with us.  Email the contact link above.  Thanks.

Some of the things you’ll see on your visit 

See museum guide

Fire statistics at a glance

Death toll: 1,200 – 2,500 (exact number unknown)
Square miles burned: 2,400
Acres burned: 1.3 million
Towns destroyed: 17
Trees destroyed: 2 billion

Learn more about the Great Peshtigo Fire

Fire Museum location

400 Oconto Avenue
Peshtigo, Wisconsin USA