Northern Minnesota marks 100th anniversary of epic forest fire

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Photo courtesy Lake of the Woods County Historical Society

Today (Oct 7th) marks the 100th anniversary of a massive forest fire that roared across northern Minnesota in 1910.

The fire wiped out hundreds of thousands of acres of forest, destroyed much of the town of Baudette, and left little but ashes of the communities of Pitt, Graceton and Cedar Spur.

It’s estimated 40 people died and thousands were left homeless by the fire. Lake of the Woods County Historical Society says the fire led to the creation of the Minnesota Forestry Service with a network of forest rangers.

Events commemorating the fire start this evening with a fire survivors meal.The menu includes what organizers believe would have been served in 1910; ham, biscuits, beans, canned peaches and coleslaw.

Church bells in Baudette will ring at 6pm to mark the time the fire was nearing the city 100 years ago. Activities will continue throughout the weekend.

  • Charles Williams

    My great grandfather homesteaded in lake in the woods in either the eraly 1900’s or late 1800’s. My father tried to make his way to teh area in 1977 to pay the back owed taxes on the property but as unsucessful. I would love to someday be able to see the site on which grandfathers cabin was built. Believe his last name was either Clane or Williams.