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“Museum's Name isn't Honest”

Peshtigo Fire Museum
Ranked #1 of 4 things to do in Peshtigo
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: The Fire Museum is open from Memorial Weekend through October 8. On October 8, 1871, a firestorm roared through Peshtigo, Wisconsin, and surrounding areas, killing over 2,000 people and destroying the entire city and its livelihood. The Peshtigo Fire Museum preserves this heritage through storytelling, exhibits of artifacts from the fire, displays of the lifestyle at the time of the disaster, and a cemetery to memorialize those who died.
Baraboo, Wisconsin
Level 6 Contributor
216 reviews
77 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 152 helpful votes
“Museum's Name isn't Honest”
Reviewed July 10, 2013

We stopped here because of our interest in the fire - I'm guessing that's why most people stop here, and there were quite a few guests on the day we visited. However, this is really a historical museum, and not a very good one. It mainly has stuff, stuff, stuff on display with very little signage. If you love gawking at old dolls, clothes, cash registers, etc., you'll enjoy it. If you're not into that stuff, you'll be disappointed. The parts of the museum that are related to the fire are exactly one photo of a building burning, a very small display case with a few articles that were saved from the fire or burned beyond recognition, and some of the graves in the adjacent cemetery (including the mass grave containing 350 victims of the fire, which was very sobering). Frankly, it is quite obvious that the only reason they named this museum the "Fire Museum" is to draw unsuspecting visitors in. I find this dishonest and distasteful.

Visited July 2013
1 Thank Nancy T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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47 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Green Bay, Wisconsin, United States
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“A lot of history!”
Reviewed April 21, 2013

I was a little disappointed because I was expecting more fire stories. However, they had a lot of very interesting items, my favorite was the bicycle that was used to ride the rails!

Visited October 2012
1 Thank Linda W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Green Bay
Level 5 Contributor
63 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Unadvertised but worst than Chicago Fire”
Reviewed March 23, 2013

This is not a fancy museum but the story is a tribute to the people who survived and preserved after such a horrible, horrible fire. There are several books available at the museum to read about the families that where living in the community especially after seeing the pieces that survived. It gives a great perspective to what the pioneers had to potentially face without all the media to warn people. Interesting how population size influenced even back then and how neighboring Wisconsin cities helped each other out. Excellent learning about a very sad event. truly an volunteer donation is well used to maintain this memorial.

Visited August 2012
1 Thank Barbara O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pound, Wisconsin, United States
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“sad but very educational”
Reviewed December 18, 2012

gave you a true history of a horrific fire with many casualties, more than the great chicago fire of th same time period!!!!

Thank Bonnie M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Allen, Michigan
Level 6 Contributor
146 reviews
70 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
“One can't helped but be moved when visiting...”
Reviewed November 2, 2012

Like others have stated, most people have heard of the Chicago fire, but had never heard of this town much less the fire associated with it when driving through the area today. Going through and looking at the exhibits and the nearby cemetery made it hard to imagine what that night would have been like. Glad I made the effort to stop considering the construction in town made it hard to get here.

Visited October 2012
Thank Ken_T_allenite
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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