By 4 a.m., the city of Cloquet was “practically all burned,” reported Commissioner Archie Campbell, who traveled back and forth between Carlton and Cloquet three times that dreadful night.
But not everything was destroyed.
Many of the industries were saved thanks to people who remained behind to fight the fires. They saved two lumber companies, the toothpick factory, the box plant, Cloquet Tie and Post Company and the Northwest Paper Company, all in the east end of town
Garfield was the only one of six local schools that remained standing, along with five or six homes in the city and the water tower.
And, while the Duluth and Northeastern Railroad depot and roundhouse burned on the west end of Dunlap Island, most of the hotels, saloons and brothels further east survived.
One of those was the Northeastern Hotel, which looks almost the same today as it did at the time of the devastating fires of 1918.
Authors Francis M. Carroll and Franklin R. Raiter wrote how Minnesota Home Guard and National Guard troops moved into the burned-out cities almost immediately to prevent looting and help restore order:
“Unburned buildings on Dunlap Island in the St. Louis River became the headquarters, and within a matter of days, a barracks for soldiers was built at the corner of Cloquet Avenue and Second