Library Happenings

Henning School

The “Fires of Autumn, The Cloquet-Moose Lake Disaster of 1918” written by Francis M. Carroll and Franklin R. Raiter is our featured book this week.  

The jacket cover reads “On October 12, 1918 devastating forest fires swept across a major portion of northeastern Minnesota.  Virtually obliterating thirty-eight communities and 1,500 square miles, the fires struck hardest in an area stretching from the lumber city of Cloquet to the farming town of Moose Lake and touched the outskirts of Duluth. More than 450 people were killed outright,  52,000 more were injured or displaced, and property valued at upwards of $73 million was destroyed. The stories of survivors have been told for generations in Minnesota.  

The fires brought another kind of tragedy. The U.S. Railroad Administration was judged to be responsible because the fires were started by sparks from its locomotives. But the government refused to pay compensation for losses. For 17 years, the determined survivors battle, in courts and in Congress, before winning satisfaction.

Drawing strongly on personal accounts and little-used trial testimony, Cloquet natives tell the dramatic stories of survivors and victims. They also discuss the heroic relief operations, the numerous lawsuits launched by survivors and the controversial legal battles with the Railroad Administration and Congress.

This great book is ready for checkout on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from 3:30-5:30 p.m. Entrance to the library can be made through the elementary door.