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 over 2,000 people, it 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.)


Due to COVID-19 the museum will be closed for the 2020 summer season.  Last year we had over 6,000 visitors from 47 states and 22 countries.  We value our guests and curators and do not want to put anyone at risk.  This was a difficult decision to make, but everyone’s health is important.  We will share stories over the summer on this website, our Facebook page, and in the Peshtigo Times.  We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Normal hours: 10a-4p Memorial Day weekend through October 8th.


Donations are appreciated and enable 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).

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