On Air
0:00
0:00
Open In Popup
MPR News

Photos: Aftermath of the 1918 Cloquet-Moose Lake wildfire

Share story

1918 wildfire
The remains of a neighborhood of burned-out homes -- reduced to debris-filled basements -- are seen after a wildfire swept through Cloquet, Minn., on Oct. 12, 1918. This view is looking north toward the Masonic Temple and Washington School. The Cloquet-Moose Lake fire devastated those two communities among others in northeastern Minnesota, including parts of Duluth, leaving hundreds of people dead and thousands homeless.
Courtesy Carlton County Historical Society, www.carltoncountyhistory.org

Massive wildfires that swept across northeastern Minnesota in October 1918 destroyed Cloquet, Moose Lake and several other communities, leaving hundreds of people dead and thousands homeless. 

Photographers chronicled the aftermath — ruined neighborhoods, burned-out shells of buildings, vehicles abandoned along roadsides and mass burials of the victims.