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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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072821frontCemetaryMarker.jpg

Install Refurbished Marker - The Historical Marker at the Fire Museum Cemetery returned to Peshtigo on Thursday, July 22 after it was sent to Sewah Studios in Marietta, Ohio, for complete refurbishing for the sesquicentennial of the Great Peshtigo Fire. Volunteers and members of the City of Peshtigo Department of Public Works personnel assisted with the unloading and installation of the marker. The marker itself weighed in at over 250 pounds and several of the anchors holding the marker to the approximately 7 to 8- ton granite stone had to be drilled out before installation. Top Photo; pictured standing left to right; with the completed historical marker are Jason Stibbe, Mike Seidl, Ron Strojny and Scott Walters. Kneeling left to right; Chris Rohde and Pat Spangenberg. Bottom photo; Volunteers uncrate the marker and move it gently to the granite stone for installation.

Peshtigo Cemetery Marker Back After Refurbishing

Issue Date: July 29, 2021

The Peshtigo Historical Society's cemetery grave marker is back where it belongs after having it refurbished for the Peshtigo sesquicentennial. The marker was sent to Sewah Studios in Marietta, Ohio on March 9 of this year. It returned to Peshtigo on July 22 and final installation took place on Friday July 23. Cost of the refurbishing was $1,200 shipping both ways was extra. The marker is 72 inches high and 54 inches wide and weighs in at over 250 pounds. Mike Seidl, one of the many volunteers for the Peshtigo Historical Society, stated the marker looked great and invited people to stop over at the cemetery to view it.

Three members of the City of Peshtigo Department of Public Works and a City of Peshtigo Firefighter along with volunteers of the Historical Society installed the marker on Friday.

A timeline of the Historical Marker from it's inception follows.

In 1949 a drive was started to have a state historical marker erected in the old cemetery at Peshtigo (now the Peshtigo Fire Museum Cemetery). With much work on the part of Faye (Stuart) Dooley, the marker became a reality.

On September 5, 1950 the marker made of cast aluminum with raised letters containing 140 words telling the story of the fire was ordered. It is 4Â feet wide by 6 feet tall and weighs 260 lbs. With some difficulty finding material, the finished marker was finally sent to the state capital in Madison where it was displayed for the month of March in 1951.

From April 6 - October 6, 1951 the marker was stored at Peshtigo City Hall.

On June 3, 1951 the first person to donate money to the cause, 90-year-old Charles Wright, a fire survivor living in Dunbar, was chosen to unveil the marker for the first time.

Late in September 1951 the Peshtigo City Crew laid a 6 foot deep concrete base to support the large stone of Brown Granite from Red Granite, WI, weighing in at 7-8 tons.

On October 1, 1951 the beautiful stone arrived with the help of Marinette County Highway Department.

On October 6, 1951 Mr. Mundt from Menominee Monument attached the First State Historical Marker in WI to the Granite Stone.

Sunday, October 7, 1951 a dedication ceremony was held.

The historic monument remained at the cemetery until March 9, 2021 when volunteers removed it from the granite stone and sent it in to Sewah Studios of Marinette, OH. for refurbishing for a cost of $1,200. It was returned on Thursday July 22 and installed on Friday July 23.

The original copy engraved on the plate was prepared by Fred Burke, Marinette County Historian, and Mrs. Janzen, it reads as follows:

â€On the night of October 8, 1871, Peshtigo, a booming town of 1,200 people was wiped out of existence in the greatest fire disaster in American history. The tornado of fire claimed about 800 lives, 300 in the village of Peshtigo and 500 in the surrounding area. Many of these victims lie here. The 350 unidentified men, women, and children were buried in one mass grave. This, a large mill, and every building in the community was lost.â€


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