Wisconsin History Day By Day

Related Web Sites:
Relics of Tragedy: The Great Third Ward Fire

Third Ward Fire (Milwaukee 1892)

Historic Third Ward, Milwaukee

Read More About It

"Beertown Blazes: A Century of Milwaukee Firefighting" by R.L. Nailen and James Haight


square blocks

Interesting Fact:

Approximately 1,900 people, mostly Irish-Americans, were left homeless as a result of the fire.

Study Questions:

  • Besides the strong winds, why do you think the fire spread so rapidly?
  • Describe what Milwaukee's Third Ward looked like in 1892. Is this what we think of Wisconsin in the "good old days"?
  • What have been some of the bad fires in your community's history?

    U.S. historical events that occurred on October 28:

    1886: The Statue of Liberty is dedicated.

  • October 28

    October 28, 1892: A fire in Milwaukee destroyed over 400 buildings, covering 16 square blocks in the city's third ward. The fire started in an oil storage yard and spread rapidly with the aid of strong winds. Property loss totaled more than $4,500,000.

    Wisconsin History Day By Day homepage
    January - December calendar page