Dictionary of Wisconsin History
Search Results for: Keyword: 'Milwaukee Irish'
Term: Third Ward Fire: 1892 (Historic Marker Erected 1991)
200 N. Broadway, Milwaukee, Milwaukee County
On the evening of October 28, 1892, an exploding oil barrel started a small fire in the Union Oil and Paint Company warehouse, which was located at 323 N. Water Street. Another fire broke out in a nearby factory in the 300 block of N. Broadway, where Commission Row is now located. Before morning, 4 persons had died, 215 railroad cars were consumed, 440 buildings were destroyed, and more than 1,900 people in the Irish community were left homeless. In all, the "mountain of fire" engulfed 16 city blocks within the district. Property loss, the greatest in Milwaukee's history, was estimated at 5 million dollars at the time. Reconstruction began immediately. Within 30 years, predominantly Italian ware-house and manufacturing businesses had rebuilt the area, with a majority of the buildings dating from the 1890s. Today, the magnificent buildings of the Historic Third Ward stand as a tribute to the prominent architects who designed the structures and to those merchants who rebuilt the district as the center of dry goods commerce in Milwaukee.
[Source: McBride, Sarah Davis. History Just Ahead (Madison:WHS, 1999).]