On the 120th anniversary of the New Richmond cyclone of 1899, the community remembered those who were lost, and celebrating the heroes of the renewal of “The City Beautiful.” The 117th tree was planted at Cyclone Park on Wednesday, June 12, at 6 p.m., the time the catastrophe struck. At the same time, church bells were rung throughout the city to pay tribute.

Mayor Fred Horne gave a short speech prior to the planting of the tree and read aloud a proclamation recognizing the 120th anniversary of the 1899 cyclone. The proclamation also announced that June 12, 2019, was to be Cyclone Remembrance Day in the City of New Richmond. The proclamation states that the tornado tore a 45-mile long path through St. Croix, Polk and Barron counties, destroying 230 buildings and killing 117 people.

According to Horne, the cyclone - which has been classified as an F5 tornado - is the worst in Wisconsin history and the ninth or 10th worst in U.S. history in regards to number of people killed and other such criteria.

Following the speech, Horne, Director of Public Works Jeremiah Wendt and Evangeline Wendt planted the tree in front of the gathered crowd.

The 117 trees remembering the victims of the cyclone at Cyclone Park - which was dedicated on the 100th anniversary of the disaster - have been illuminated by spotlights.