In October of 1910, a forest fire raging along a front of 85 miles burnt down a million acres and several communities in northern Minnesota, including the village of Baudette, where this photo of the post office was taken. I’m glad there is a caption on this card; I certainly couldn’t identify it as a post office.
The fire did not confine its fury to buildings, people and timber. One account noted, “Animals raced wildly about the edge of the fire and then, contrary to their habits, turned and plunged into the deep and wide Rainy River and swam across to Canada and safety. They followed the human flight. Cattle released by their owners at the approach of the flames likewise fled to safety. Accompanying the horses were hundreds of deer, caribou and moose. Cattle lay down with the bears, wildcats and timber wolves, encountering no danger from them. They were all flying from a common enemy.”
* * *
— Quote from “Fire Zone Covers Area of 85 Miles: Situation in Minnesota Worse Than Ever – Estimates of Dead Range from 75 to 400” in The New York Times, October 11, 1910