What would you do if a wildfire swept through your area without warning?
In October 1908, a wildfire swept through northeast Michigan and consumed 900 homes and two million acres of farms and forest. Despite the valiant efforts of the farmers, lumbermen, and shopkeepers, only Lake Huron could quench the flames. With no fire watch towers, spotting aircraft, telephones, or organized firefighting and only limited telegraph, warnings were too few and too late.
Devil in the North Woods accurately depicts the fire's genesis, growth, and aftermath. The story's real-life protagonist, 10-year-old Henry Hardies, survived the fire but family did not. Relying on Henry's personal recollections and author Walt Shiel's faithful recreation of time and place, the book vividly brings Henry's ordeal to life.
Devil in the North Woods contrasts the terror of nature's destruction with a chronicle of family, love, sorrow, and recovery. The story leaves the reader buoyed by faith in the resilience of the human spirit and belief in love's ability to germinate amid the ashes of ruin.
©2004 Walter P. Shiel (P)2014 Walter P. Shiel