Ruins of downtown Hinckley, Minnesota after the 1894 fire.
The Great Hinckley Fire burned an area of 420 square miles, centered on the town of Hinckley, Minnesota on September 1, 1894.
The fire killed many people, with the minimum number centering at 418. This is in dispute, however, as many scholars believe the number to be closer to 800. It appears that this was the second-deadliest fire in the history of Minnesota.
After a two-month drought, several fires started in the pine forests of Pine County, Minnesota. The main contributor to the fire was apparently the then-common method of lumber harvesting, which involved stripping trees of their branches, littering the ground with such detritus. Another contributing factor was a temperature inversion that trapped the gases from the fires. The fires developed into a firestorm, with temperatures reaching 1000 degrees Fahrenheit. Some people were able to escape by climbing into wells, or by reaching a nearby pond or the Grindstone River. Others escaped by jumping onto two crowded trains that were able to get out of town. James Root, an engineer on a train heading south from Duluth, was able to rescue nearly 300 people by backing a train up nearly five miles to Skunk Lake, where people could escape the fire.
(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
We visited the Hinckley Fire Museum yesterday. I can't imagine what it must have been like to have been there. They said in a video that some people had laid down in a swamp to keep from being burned, but the fire passed right over and around them, and consumed all the oxygen, and they suffocated.
The Museum is inside the rebuilt train station.
The downstairs is the fire museum, of which I didn't get any photos. But upstairs is decorated as the station-masters quarters. This is the kitchen.
I thought this table setting was really nice. I would love to eat at a table like that! :)
This is the sitting room.
And here is the child's room. There was only one. So they said that if there were more then one , they would all piled in here.
There was also the master bedroom, and a family room, that I suppose could have also been a dining room, or another bedroom.