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The 1881 Fire
Pete in MI
Date: March 06, 2005 12:53PM
The Fire of 1881:
See "Fiery Trial," by Judge James H Lincoln & James L Donahue, publ. by Anchor Publications of Cass City MI, ISBN#0-9626947-1-1, 104 pp.
It has a number of first-hand accounts, a map of the effected area, etc. which was extensive -- almost all of Sanilac Co, most of Huron Co, the eastern half of Tuscola Co & the northern half of Lapeer Co. There were large areas where the fire burned to the shoreline of Lake Huron, particularly a wide stretch from Port Austin on the northern tip of the Thumb eastward to just north of Sand Beach (today Habor Beach). Bad Axe was entirely destroyed. Vassar, to the west, was spared . . . just. The west shoreline, along the Saginaw Bay, faired the best.
The back cover of this soft bound book states -- "An estimated two hundred and eighty people perished, another fifteen thousand were left homeless and count(l)ess numbers of domestic and wild animals died. To save themselves, settlers plunged into nearby lakes and streams or climbed into hand-dug crock wells. "Relief to the disaster victims was the first effort tried by Clara Barton's American Red Cross, a fledgling organization that had its beginnings in 1881 at Dansville, New York."
This is from the Huron County History website, and the link below is one account of the fire - so tragic.
Drop down to the 1881 Thumb fire.

Re: The 1881 Fire
Date: March 07, 2005 08:44AM
hey-i got that book-good read.

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