Black and white photograph of wrecked cars along Pike Lake Road near Duluth, 1918.

Wrecked cars along Pike Lake Road near Duluth

Wrecked cars along Pike Lake Road near Duluth, 1918.

Black and white photograph of the ruins of a car after fire, Kettle River Road, 1918.

Ruins of car after fire

Ruins of car after fire, Kettle River Road, 1918.

Black and white photograph of mass grave at Moose Lake after the fire, 1918.

Mass grave at Moose Lake

Mass grave at Moose Lake after the fire, 1918.

Black and white photograph of automobiles in Moose Lake after fire, 1918.

Automobiles in Moose Lake after fire

Automobiles in Moose Lake after fire, 1918.

Black and white photograph of street view after fire, Moose Lake, 1918.

Street view after fire, Moose Lake

Street view after fire, Moose Lake, 1918.

Black and white photograph of Duluth & Northeastern Railroad yards after the fire, 1918.

Duluth & Northeastern Railroad yards after the fire

Duluth & Northeastern Railroad yards after the fire, 1918.

Black and white photograph of ruins of Masonic Temple, Cloquet, 1918.

Ruins of Masonic Temple, Cloquet

Ruins of Masonic Temple, Cloquet, 1918.

Black and white photograph of building ruins, Cloquet, 1918.

Building ruins, Cloquet

Building ruins, Cloquet, 1918.

Black and white photograph of scene in Cloquet after the fire, 1918.

Scene after the fire, Cloquet

Scene in Cloquet after the fire, 1918.

Cloquet, Duluth, and Moose Lake Fires, 1918

The worst natural disaster in Minnesota history—over 450 dead, fifteen hundred square miles consumed, towns and villages burned flat—unfolded at a frightening pace, lasting less than fifteen hours from beginning to end. The fire began around midday on Saturday, October 12, 1918. By 3:00 a.m. on Sunday, all was over but the smoldering, the suffering, and the recovery.

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