Tamarack District Library Lakeview, Michigan

Growing Minds~Building Communities

The great fire of 1894 in Lakeview, MI

 

 

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The above photo is of downtown Lakeview just after the fire of 1894.  The buildings in the foreground were spared, and also the homes in the background.  Everything in between was reduced to rubble.

 

 

In a letter to a friend, Marianne Scurrah, wife of local tailor Robert Scurrah, described the experience:  “it all seems like a dream to me.” She tells of the “very, very hot weather and no rain to speak of for nearly 3 months so everything was dry and quite a wind was blowing” and that the fire created “such a bright glare” that it woke her husband. Most of the families and businesses that were burnt out “did not save anything”.  If you could see “poor Lakeview now”.  The Scurrah’s  were some of the first on the scene and helped with carrying some things out of homes and stores. She writes also the “there are fires all around us” and everyone was quite anxious again “as a strong wind was blowing towards the town.” (Scurrah letter from the collection of Lisa Moblo Johnson)