Here I was, wading knee deep in a river named after a town that was the site of one of the worst forest fires in American history. It happen in October of 1871 on a Sunday, over a hundred and thirty-some years ago and all the land around me was a blazing inferno, a fire storm. And the real twist, it happened the same day as the Chicago fire, the only difference; up here approximately 800 lives were lost that day.
Tragedy always looks closely for bizarre coincidences . . . The two fires happened on the same day, around the same time. William B. Ogden, prominent citizen of Chicago, owned The Peshtigo Company, a cranberry producer. And on that fateful day he lost most his wealth in two separate fires, two hundred miles apart. If you look closely at the Peshtigo tragedy, you would find survivors within an arms reach of those that perished that day. Why? While others sat in the open and died, others ten feet away survived. A boy wadded in this same river with his two brothers. He held them in his arms, periodically dosing their heads putting out flames. And when he got out of the river, he had found that his brothers had died at some point of hypothermia.
In the town of Peshtigo stands an old church, today it is the town’s museum honoring those that died and those that rebuilt the devastated community. Next to the church sits an old cemetery, where 350 of its citizens were buried in a single grave.
And here I was daydreaming and dragging a fly I had made behind me as I wadded back to camp. And then a fish struck. I know it was a fish, I felt it struggle momentarily before snapping my leader and making off with my last one, my last fly.
Dreams are yours to Share
My Books: The World Outside My Window, AuthorHouse, 2004
Soon to come, Sleepless Nights
Links: Dreams Are Yours To Share
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Copyright © 2007 by Dan Hanosh. All rights reserved.
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