Postal Updates

Deadliest U.S. forest fire remembered on postmark

Oct 17, 2021, 10 AM
The 1871 Peshtigo, Wis., fire destroyed 1.2 million acres in the region 150 years ago and is commemorated on this pictorial postmark.

Postmark Pursuit by Molly Goad

One hundred and 50 years ago, the United States’ deadliest forest fire raged in northeastern Wisconsin, an event commemorated on the postmark shown here.

Roughly 1,500 to 2,000 people perished in the Peshtigo, Wis., fire on Oct. 8, 1871. On the same day, another well-known fire occurred when the Great Chicago fire took approximately 300 lives.

The cause of both fires was said to be drought, high winds and human carelessness.

To obtain the postmark, address your request to: PESHTIGO FIRE SESQUICENTENNIAL Station, Postmaster, Box 9998, Peshtigo, WI 54157-9998, Oct. 8.

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