Oconto County WIGenWeb Project
Collected and posted by RITA
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FAMILY STORIES
OF
THE PESHTIGO FIRE

This page is dedicated to the people who lived to tell of their survival and stories of the Peshtigo Fire. All submission’s are from the family members and are welcome for posting.
 RITA


Mystery Memorial

Contributed by:
Dick Bayerl

I was born in Menominee and grew up in Birch Creek.  I am always interested in historical information about Birch Creek and about the Peshtigo Fire.

When I was in Menominee recently I stopped by the spot on Old 41 where it is said 14 fire victims were buried and 14 lilacs were planted as a memorial.  It is interesting that we grew up on a farm just a couple miles away from the site and none of my brothers or sisters knows anything about it.  I would imagine that our Grandparents and parents would have known about it back around 1900 but I don’t recall ever hearing about it from them.  My Grandfather, Joseph Bayerl, and his parents and two brothers came to the area around 1882. The following photos show a large lilac planting which I believe is the site of the graves.

Do you have more information about this? Please contact: Dick Bayerl


Menominee County Death Record for October 8, 1871
Could this list include the 14 buried at the Lilac Memorial?
Researched and contributed by Dick Bayerl added 2004

Transcription of above record by Dick Bayerl:
Names of Deceased - October 8, 1871 Place of Death
   1. Peter Brockling – 43 years old 
   2. Mrs. Peter Brockling 
   3. 5 children of Peter Brockling (4 male, 1 female) 
   4. Carl (spelling?) Koeniger – 43 year old 
   5. James Hill – 42years old -- single 
   6. 3 children of James Hill (2 male, 1 female) 
   7. Mrs Eames 
   8. Child (spelling?) of Mrs Eames – female 
   9. A Stranger – about 26 
 10. A Stranger – about 30 
Birch Creek
Birch Creek
Birch Creek
Birch Creek
Birch Creek
Birch Creek
Birch Creek
Birch Creek
Station below Birch Creek
Station below Birch Creek

Inside the Lilac Memorial Planting
photo by Dick Bayerl July 2003

Stones inside the Lilac Memorial Planting
photo by Dick Bayerl July 2003

Looking South at the Lilac Memorial Planting
photo by Dick Bayerl July 2003

Lilac Memorial Planting looking  toward Birch Creek
photo by Dick Bayerl July 2003

Looking north from County Road 5.25.
 Photo June, 2004 by Jan Callow 

Looking east from the field behind the lilacs.
Photo June, 2004 by Jan Callow

Another looking east showing the blooming better.
Photo June, 2004 by Jan Callow

Looking south from the field. 
Photo June, 2004 by Jan Callow

A close up looking east from the field.
Photo June, 2004 by Jan Callow

Another view looking south from the road side. 
Photo June, 2004 by Jan Callow


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