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.

Black and white photograph of water surrounding new courthouse. Flood waters of 1965, Chaska

Water surrounding new courthouse, Chaska

Water surrounding new courthouse. Flood waters of 1965, Chaska. Photographed by Les Melchert, April 11, 1965.

Black and white photograph of flood at Chaska, 1965. Photographed by Les Melchert.

Chaska flooding

Flood at Chaska, 1965. Photographed by Les Melchert.

Black and white photograph of Chaska Flood, Oak and Second Streets, 1965

Chaska Flood, Oak and Second Streets

Chaska Flood, Oak and Second Streets, 1965. Photographed by Les Melchert and Werner Studio, April 10, 1965.

Black and white photograph of flood at Chaska, 1965

Chaska flood

Flood at Chaska, 1965. Photographed by Les Melchert.

Black and white photograph of Pine and First Streets, Chaska

Pine and First Streets, Chaska

Flood at Chaska, 1965. Pine and First Streets, Chaska. Photographed by Les Melchert and Werner Studio.

Black and white photograph of the rebuilding dikes in Chaska during flood of 1965. Photographed by Werner Studio, April 10, 1965.

Rebuilding dikes in Chaska

Rebuilding dikes in Chaska during flood of 1965. Photographed by Werner Studio, April 10, 1965.

Black and white photograph of flood at Chaska, 1965.

Flood at Chaska

Flood at Chaska, 1965.

Flooding in Carver County, 1965

In April 1965, the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers crested at record levels, flooding cities and towns across the Upper Midwest. The disaster was especially evident in Chaska and Carver, where the Minnesota River reached its highest-recorded local level on April 12. While much of the two communities was severely damaged, residents pulled together to save the new Carver County courthouse.

Painting of the prairie just beyond the north side of Fort Snelling, c.1847. Painting by Seth Eastman.

Prairie north of Fort Snelling

Prairie just beyond the north side of Fort Snelling, c.1847. Painting by Seth Eastman.

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