Hinckley Fire of 1894

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Other Nominations

These fires directly effected the lives of many people. From their every ay lives to how northern Minnesota eventualy evolved to how it is today.
~Bob Nelson, Kerrick, MN

Worst fire in MN history.
~Jim and Beth Youngbauer, Braham, MN

REALLY effected a lot of people in central MN around the end of the 1800s.
~Tom Moffatt

On September 1, 1894, this enormous firestorm swept through Hinckley and Sandstone, and forever changed the way Minnesotans lived, earned their livings and dealt with sudden changes in their lives. My great-grandfather, Pierre Prenevost, was a logger in Sandstone until the fire. During the fire, his daughter - my grandmother - then about 15, saved her 2 younger siblings by taking them into Skunk Lake near Hinckley, and remaining there until after the firestorm swept further North. 2 trains from Duluth to Sandstone rescued hundreds of people from the path of the storm and carried them North, crossing the last large bridge just before it burned up on their way to safety. After that, my great-grandfather turned to farming and to carving tombstones from Sandstone and Granite. MNHS has photos of the fire which we used in our family genealogy, which clearly show the devastation of the fire, including a mass grave in Hinckley. The Hinckley Fire Museum has printed matter on the fire which tells the compelling story of this devastating chapter in Minnesota History. More than any other event, the Hinckley Fire transformed Minnesota from a logging state to an agricultural one, which subsequently gave faster rise to the milling industry.
~Mike and Judy Best, Eden Prairie, MN


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