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John Blair and the Great Hinckley Fire by…
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John Blair and the Great Hinckley Fire

by Josephine Nobisso

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  1. 00
    In the Traces: Railroad Paintings of Ted Rose (Railroads Past and Present) by Ted Rose (alco261)
    alco261: Ted Rose illustrated this book and In the Traces is a book about his paintings.
  2. 00
    The Hinckley fire by Antone A. Anderson (alco261)
    alco261: John Blair's actions are mentioned in some of the first person accounts in the Anderson work.
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This is a powerful, motivational tool for young people. ( )
  mariahpolen | Sep 10, 2013 |
John Blair was a railway porter on the St. Paul and Duluth Railroad. At 1:55 in the afternoon of 1 September 1894 his southbound train left Duluth and drove straight into the firestorm in the vicinity of Hinckley, Minnesota. Approximately a mile from Hinckley his train stopped and took on an estimated 3-400 refugees fleeing the fire. With the way blocked by the firestorm his engineer slammed the train into reverse and headed back towards Skunk Lake where everyone left the train and took refuge in the shallow, muddy, water. It was John Blair who saw to the needs and concerns of the passengers under his care both during the run to Skunk Lake and the disembarkation on its shores. His heroism was noted by passengers and crew (See “The Hinckley Fire” by McDermott and Anderson for direct quotes) and this children’s book is an excellent written and illustrated history of his efforts on that horrible day. Even though it is classed as a children’s book it is good read for adults and I would recommend it to readers of all ages. ( )
  alco261 | Mar 2, 2013 |
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To the family, friends, and fellow pilgrims with whom I've passed through fire of a very different nature. - J.N.
To the memory of Fred's father - T.R.
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Steam hissed onto the railroad platform in Duluth.
Quotations
John's eyes widened. A wall of fire, sky-high and as dense as a sea, barreled toward them, its red flames churning. The very air around the speeding train seemed to ignite then, sounding one huge explosion. Fire engulfed the train. The baggage car burst into flames and the windows imploded. Broken glass melted and curtains disintegrated into red spider lace. In panic over the famlies they'd left behind, two settlers dove out into the tidal wave of fire.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0618015604, Hardcover)

No one who boarded the Limited No. 4 train on the morning of September 1, 1894, anticipated disaster down the tracks, but by three o’clock in the afternoon, the sky was as black as night and everyone knew something was wrong. Soon burning trees lined either side of the tracks, illuminating the smoky sky like gigantic torches. With fire ahead and fire behind, how would the passengers escape?
Amid the flames of the most devastating firestorm in U.S. history, the train’s porter, John Wesley Blair, acted with courage and compassion throughout that terrible day. Here, finally, is the untold story of a hero whom history almost forgot.
A brief mention of the Hinckley fire in a nature magazine inspired Joi Nobisso to find out more about this awesome event. After several years of research, she uncovered the tale of John Blair’s bravery and knew she had to tell his story.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:42:54 -0400)

Tells how a brave African American porter helped save many lives when the train on which he was working was caught up in the horrendous firestorm near Hinkley, Minnesota, in 1894.

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