Marshfield, WI Fire, Jun 1887



MILWAUKEE, WIS., June 27,---Fire almost swept the town of Marshfield out of existence this afternoon and 2,000 people are homeless. The loss is not less than $1,000,000. All communication by wire is cut off, and it is almost impossible to learn particulars. A locomotive spark started a blaze at noon in the lumber yard of the Upham Furniture Factory, and it rapidly developed into a roaring fire that spread toward the town. Insufficient protection facilities prevented any resistance to the flames, and soon several flourishing factories, the business blocks along the main street, and adjoining residences were wrapped in flames. The people gathered such household effects as they could and fled to the woods. The heat was so intense that 2,500 feet of the Wisconsin Central track, which runs through one end of the town, was bent and twisted into the most grotesque shapes. Travel cannot be resumed on this account until to-morrow. Specials from Stevens Point and Chippewa Falls conveyed fire engines to the place but the fire was beyond all control. But one store and a few half burned houses remain of the flourishing town. Many people were transferred by specials to the neighboring towns, and others camped on the outskirts of the town. Among the buildings destroyed were a wooded-ware factory, the grist mill, saw mill, and factory of the Upham Manufacturing Company, the Tremont and several minor hotels, warehouses along the Wisconsin Central, its station, four churches, and the entire business centre. The insurance is less than one-fifth of the loss.

The New York Times, New York, NY 28 Jun 1887