Great American Barns: Ray Family Barn

October 17, 2016 02:40 PM

Along the shores of Lake Michigan in Alaska, Wisc. is a barn with a fiery past. According to the barn’s owner, Norm Ray, the barn isn’t in the best shape, but has a great story to tell.

Some of the timbers inside the barn have scorch marks, and to the best of Ray’s knowledge, there was never a fire in the barn.

How did the scorch marks come to be? They believe the wood came from trees that burned in the Great Peshtigo Fire of 1871, a fire that sparked the same day as the Great Chicago Fire, Oct. 8, 1871.

Although thousands of acres of forest burned and nearly 2,400 people died, the Peshtigo Fire was overlooked. The fire was so big, embers jumped across the Green Bay, the body of water, and started fires.

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