Tuesday, October 15, 2013

(Nearly) Wordless Wednesday - The Peshtigo River

The Peshtigo River - Where many ran to on the night of the fire in hopes their lives would be spared.

Memorial stone at the Peshtigo River bridge

"This bridge crosses the river that has been the heart of the community since the founding of Peshtigo.

This river provides power for our commerce and daily lives.  This river also protected some of our citizens who sought refuge in these waters during the great fire of Oct. 8th, 1871

The citizens of Peshtigo dedicate the bridge over the River In honor of those who have served and defended our country And those who protected, defended and rebuilt our community

From the embers of ruined hope, may the germs of virtuous industry spring, while nature in tears, weeping over the blackened funeral pile, shall plant, as the seasons come and go, fresh roses of Spring o'er the ashes of the dead.

The Marinette and Peshtigo Eagle
Saturday, October 14, 1871

Dedicated october 8, 2012"

Tombstone Tuesday - Mass Grave at Peshtigo

I was actually halfway through with another Tuesday post when it dawned on me to share the memorial for the mass grave from the Peshtigo Fire.  I know that my posts were "technically" done for this year on Peshtigo, but as I was scrolling through my iPhoto I saw the photos I had taken at the Peshtigo Museum and graveyard this summer.  It would have been wrong to ignore them and not share.

At the foot of the mass grave a sign to explain the necessity of a mass grave.

A transcription of the mass grave marker only because of the glare.  I think most can read it, but just in case:

"Mass Grave

This mass grave contains the ashes, bones, and bodies of some three hundred and fifty people who perished in the Peshtigo Fire.  Approximately seventy-five of these lost their lives in the Peshtigo Company's boarding house on the east side of the river.  They were so completely consumed by the fire that one could not tell man from woman or child from adult.  All, however, in the mass grave were not ashes.  Many of the dead were found bearing no trace of burns and those unidentified bodies are also buried here."

Many had no trace of burns but died anyway.  It seems incredible, but for some the fire spared them, only to have the smoke do what the fire did not.

The mass grave from a distance.  A peaceful sitting area for reflection.