What Caused the 1918 Fire and Other Historical Facts About Cloquet – Our Town
Located just over 20 miles from Duluth and on the St. Louis River, Cloquet is featured this week as ‘Our Town’. Famous for a gas station, a fire and cooperatives, Cloquet is rich with history.
- Cloquet started in the form of several little settlements clustered around three sawmills. These settlements were Shaw Town, Nelson Town and Johnson Town.
- Officially became a town with a mayor and city council in 1904
- Famed in American economic history because before and after WWII it was home of the strongest consumer co-op’s in the country.
- In 1939 the co-op did 35% of the business in the town and 18% in Carlton County.
- Famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright designed his only gas station in Cloquet. The R.W. Lindholm Service Station is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
- The 1918 Cloquet fire was caused by sparks on the local railroads and dry conditions.
- The fire killed nearly 500 people and injured nearly 52,000
- 38 communities were destroyed
- The fire caused $73 million in property damage. Adjusted for inflation, that would $1,111,026,158.94 in 2012.
- The city library was formed in 1896.
- 2 time Academy Award winning Actress Jessica Lange was born in Cloquet on April 20, 1949.