Bayfield County Press, June 28, 1887
Half the business part of Hurley, Wis., was destroyed by fire to-day. The town is one of the mushroom settlements in the mining region, and the buildings were not very valuable. The loss will not exceed $80,000, and none of the individual losses are over $5,000. For a time it was thought that the whole town was doomed.
The fire started in the rear of the Gogebic Meat and Provision Company’s building and a brisk wind rapidly fanned it into a roaring blaze that spread from building to building until a dozen merchandise establishments, several hotels, and a boarding house were in flames. About 1,000 men employed in neighboring mines came to the rescue, but the fire could not be subdued until a number of vacant lots were reached. Then it was with the greatest difficulty that buildings several hundred feet distant were prevented from igniting, so intense was the heat. The roofs and sides of the houses were covered with wet blankets during the early progress of the fire.
It appeared so certain that the whole town would be swept away that merchants hired large gangs of men to pack and load their goods on vehicles of all descriptions and cart them away, and a number of railroad cars were loaded and engines were ready to convey them out of town had necessity presented itself.
Catastrophic fires made 1887 a terrible year for Hurley. Less than a month after this conflagration, eleven lives were lost in a fire at the Klondike vaudeville theater. The theater was hastily rebuilt, but burned again in November, claiming ten more victims.