Its Growth During the Year 1872
Source: Ashland Press (4 Jan. 1873) from the Wisconsin
Historical Society website; transcribed by Sandra Wright
A Quarter of a Million Dollars Expended in Improvements.
A Full List Of BuildingsDocksAnd Railroad Work
ALL HAIL TO THE IRON CITY
The history of Ashland, full and complete, would require more space,
and more labor in its preparation, than we can possibly give it at
this time. Nor is it necessary in connection with this summary of
its growth during the first year of its regenerated existence, to
enter into an elaborate or extended article upon its past fortunes,
but merely to give an outline showing its first organization, and a
few of the most important items incident to its early settlement.
This much we shall endeavor to do in this article, and no more,
leaving other and better informed persons to give a full and
accurate historical record, hereafter.
Old Ashland, to be properly written up, should be woven into the
history of all the country extending from the head of Lake Superior
to Ontonagon. This section from the beginning of the first
settlements has been intimately connected in all its various
fortunes, and its people of that date should be considered as one,
and spoken of as the early day pioneers on the Lake. Scarcely an
enterprise was attempted that a majority were not more or less
interested in, and the early Ashlander was not satisfied with being
limited to one small portion as the place of his adoption, but
generally considered himself honored only when credited with being a
citizen of the Superior Country, or as many term it, of Lake
Superior. Like the old fashioned Queens arm the early settlers
scattered terribly, and hence we find them at the present day,
posessors of corner lots in exploded townsites, parchment mining
stocks, iron lands, copper mines, mineral claims and silver veins,
in almost every section of the south shore that has been explored.
To enumerate all the enterprises attempted by these enterprising,
pushing-ahead, speculating men, would be too great an undertaking
for us, but a book, well written, giving a thorough history of their
operations, would not only be intensely interesting, but posess a
value scarcely to be enumerated. But it is not our purpose to
digress. We have to do with Ashland only, and chiefly with its
present growth and future prospects.
The Ashland of to-day was formerly Bay City, St. Mark and Ashland,
two distinct townsites, located but half a mile apart, the
intervening territory being that platted as St. Mark, best known as
Vaughns Division. Each of these divisions has a history of its own,
though of course more or less connected with each other in common
interests. These three divisions have, since the new enterprise
sprang into existence, been joined together and now constitutes the
city of Ashland, all parties interested working harmoniously for the
common interest and a general prosperity.
On the 5th day of July, 1854, Asaph Whittlesey and George Kilbourn
landed on the bank of Ashland bay, and immediately commenced the
erection of a claim shanty, within fifty feet of the west line of
Section 5, Town 47 north, Range 4 west, in Ashland proper. The first
tree was felled by Mr. Whittlesey, on that day, and by night the
first log house, 14x16, was commenced. On the 27th day of August
this building was occupied by Mr. Whittleseys family. It was used
many years after for various purposes, and its ruins can still be
found on the bank of the bay. During the same season the small log
house near the present residence of James A. Wilson, Esq., on lot 6,
block 6 was built, and in November of the same year the largest of
the three log houses now standing on the same lot was completed and
became the residence of Mr. Whittlesey, which he occupied until the
fall of 1857. This house has quite a history. It has witnessed many
an exciting and tragic scene, as well as many a pleasant and happy
gathering. If its walls could speak, and possessed the genius of a
Shakspeare, they would tell a story that would out rival in magic
fascination any work of fiction. It was within its walls that the
first permanent white settlers in Ashland dwelt. In its spacious
room in the winter of 1854, the man of God, the missionary in the
cause of Christ, preached the first sermon ever preached on the
town-site. The minister was the late Rev. L.H. Wheeler, founder of
the Odanah Mission, and a man known as a good and earnest Christian
missionary, loved and respected by all the border settlement. It was
here that the first bull was given in 1854; the first Fourth of July
celebrated, in 1855, some thirty persons participating. It was the
first post office, established in March, 1855, with Mr. Whittlesey
as P.M. It was here too, that the first election was held, in the
spring of 1856, at which time the town of Bayport, (which included
Ashland and Bay City and all the surrounding county,) was organized.
It was also the scene of a sad tragedy, when Henry Cross, in self
defense, shot and killed Robert D. Boyd in 1858. The first Sabbath
School was organized in this house in 1858, by Ingraham Fletcher,
Esq. It was also, May 31st, 1856, the birth place of Miss Delia E.
Whittlesey, the second white child born in the town, the first birth
being that of Katherine Goeltz, early in the same month. Many other
interesting events might be enumerated as belonging to its history,
but space forbids. The old house still remains a monument of
Ashlands former glory.
The first freight ever landed from a steamer in our harbor, was in
September, 1854. The steamer Sam Ward, Capt. Exsterbrook, brought
the household goods of Mr. Whittlesey to Ashland at that time, and
they were landed in small boats in the ravine near the foot of Main
The first marriage in the town was that of Martin Roehm to Mrs.
Modska, in the fall of 1859, John W. Bell officiating, (music
furnished by Conrad Goeltz,) and a good time generally indulged in
by all who participated in the festivities. And here let us state
that Ashland was never forsaken by this sturdy veteran pioneer
couple. They stood by the place with characteristic German fidelity,
king and queen of the deserted village, corner lots and all until
the dawn of the new era commenced.
The Indian in his might
Roamed monarch of this wild domain,
With none to bar his right.
Excepting fearless Martin Rhoem.
The first government survey of the territory around the head of the
bay was made in 1848, when the township lines were run by S.C.
Norris, deputy U.S. Surveyor. It was not subdivided, however, until
1856. The town-site of Ashland, embracing lots 1, 2 and 3, and the
N. half of the S.W. quarter, N.W. quarter of S.E. quarter and N.E.
quarter Section 5, Town 47, Range 4, was surveyed and platted by G.L.
Brunschweiler in 1854, and entered at the United Stated Land Office,
at Superior, by Schuyler Goff, County Judge, under the laws then
governing the location of town-sites on Lake Superior, December
11th, 1856, for the use and benefit of the owners and occupants
thereof, viz: Asaph Whittlesey, George Kilbourne and Martin Beaser.
Succeeding the first settlement above mentioned, the population of
Ashland increased quite rapidly. During the year 1854 several
families moved in. Among the new corners were Martin Beaser, J. P.
S. Haskell, Austin Cousen, John Cousen, Conrad Goeltz, A. J.
Barclay, Capt. J. D. Angus, G. L. Brunschweiler, Frederic Prentice,
Adam Goeltz, John Donaldson, David Lusk and Albert Little. Of these
a few remained only a short time, coming merely for temporary
purposes. 1855 brought a still larger increase of inhabitants, among
them M. H. Mandlebaum (now a resident of Hancocck, Mich.), Augustus
Barber (who was drowned at Montreal River in 1867), Benj. Hoppenyan,
Chas. Day, Geo R. Stuntz, George E. Stuntz, Dr. Edwin Ellis, Martin
Roehm, Col. Lysander Cutler, J. S. Buck, Ingraham Fletcher, Hon. J.
R. Nelson, Hon. D. A. J. Baker, Mrs. Conrad Goeltz, Henry Drixler
(father of Mrs. Conrad Goeltz, who died in 1857, his being the first
death in town), and Henry Palmer. In 1856, Mrs. Beaser (now Mrs.
James A. Wilson) arrived, also Oliver St. Germain and family, still
here; Mrs. J.D. Angus and family, John Beck and family, Schuyler
Goff (afterwards County Judge) and Chas. E. Tucker. In 1857, Mr.
Eugene F. Prince and family, A. C. Stuntz and family, Wm.
Goetzenberger, Geo. Tucker and others arrived.
On the 25th of October, 1856, Hon. S.S. Vaughn pre-empted Lot 1,
Section 32, Town 48, Range 4, and the East half of the N.E. quarter
and the N.E. quarter of the S.E. quarter Section 5, Town 47, Range
4, the same being now Vaughns Division of Ashland. In 1856 Bay City
was surveyed and platted, the town-site being owned by a stock
company, of which Dr. Edwin Ellis was the agent. Under his direction
a large clearing was made, a store, hotel and several substantial
buildings created. A saw mill was also commenced, the frame of which
is now standing near the east end of the new bridge across Bay Creek
creek. During the same year and the next following improvements were
being rapidly made in old Ashland. Martin Beaser, Esq., who was the
leading business man and property holder of the place, gave it its
name, (after the homestead of Henry Clay, he being an ardent admirer
of that eminent statesman,) and erected the store and residence now
occupied by James A. Wilson, Esq. Eugene F. Prince built his present
residence, and quite a number of dwellings were put up, several of
which are still standing and have been fitted up and occupied, while
others have been destroyed or fallen into decay. Temporary docks
were built both at Bay City and Ashland.
The Ashland dock was built by Martin Beaser and cost about $4,000.
Both however were allowed to rot down and wash away. Main street and
a portion of what is now Second street, as well as a number of
avenues were opened and improved. Additions were also platted, and
most prominent being Prentices Addition, in 1856, and the Ashland
of that day presented a live and vigorous aspect, containing as it
did a thrifty and energetic class of citizens.
This was in an era of speculation and Lake Superior the theatre of
many a town-site and mining operation, The Penoka Iron Range had
begun to attract the attention of eastern capitalists, while the
Copper Range and the mineral regions of the Porcupine Mountains had
drawn thither a number of daring adventurers, who sought their
fortunes in the discovery of valuable metals. Railroads too were
projected then, and the brave surveyors with their compass and
chains were penetrating the forest and engineering a path through a
trackless wilderness to the land of civilization that lay far away
to the south. Ashland then, as now, was the center of attraction,
and to possess corner lots and broad acres was to realize ones
But Ashland was not alone in its glory. Superior City, at the head
of the Lake; Red Cliff, Bayfield, Houghton and La Pointe, among the
Apostle harbors; Ironton, near the mouth of Montreal river on
Raymond Bay; and Ontonagon, Copper Harbor, Eagle River, Hancock,
Houghton and Marquette, on the peninsula of Michigan, were each
points of interest and struggling for an existence, their claims
being urged by their proprietors with characteristic energy. Money
was lavishly expended; mining both of copper and iron largely
engaged in and the whole country was apparently undergoing that
rapid development that leads to general prosperity and thrift.
But storm clouds follow sunshine and night follows day. The bright
anticipations of the people were soon overshadowed by the dark
clouds of adversity. Eighteen hundred and fifty-seven and eight
brought hard times to the Western empire, and found the people of
Lake Superior illy prepared to battle with its blighting waves.
Ashland felt the shock as well as its competitors, and one by one
its citizens gave up the struggle and departed for other fields of
labor. Several of its leading citizens went to Ontonagon, among them
Eugene Prince and family, who left in the fall of 1860. Others went
to Bayfield, La Pointe and other lake towns that managed to survive
the financial storm. The county seat was removed to La Pointe, and
the glories of Ashland waned. The last to leave was the family of
the brave-hearted Martin Beaser, who, late in the fall of 1866,
started, on board the schooner Ford, for Ontonagon. He accompanied
his family on the little craft as far as La Pointe, where he bid
them farewell, and started to return to his lonely home to make all
secure for the coming winter, and then to follow them overland by
way of the Indian trail. The cold wind blew a gale when he trimmed
his sail and headed his boat up the bay, but he feared it not; he
had weathered many a storm and he scorned the dashing waves as they
whirled madly around him. But those who saw him depart saw him no
more. Days after, his boat was picked up by a strolling Indian,
beached on the western shore of the bay, while its owner was gone;
sleeping beneath the ever dancing waves of the beautiful Chegwamagon.
When the news reached Bayfield search was made for his bode, but not
until the ice bridge had spanned the waters and dissolved again was
it recovered from its cold bed. Early in the spring of 57 it was
found in sight of his home on the opposite shore and taken to
Bayfield, where it was laid away by kind hearts who knew and loved
him well. Thus, with the dead Old Ashland, did its leading spirit
also go out.
But as we are promised a resurrection day, so has the promise been
fulfilled with the birth of the New Ashland. Eighteen hundred and
seventy-one again brought the surveyor with his compass, and the
line of the Wisconsin Central Railroad, piercing the heart of the
commonwealth, terminated on our shore. Soon the more of preparation
was sounded and many of the old settlers again pitched their tents
in Ashland and prepared for a new trial of fortune. The first to
return was James A. Wilson and family, who were soon followed by
Conrad Goeltz, Daniel Beaser, Oliver St. Germain and several new
comers. Ashland post-office was immediately re established, with
James A. Wilson as postmaster. Not until the spring of 1872,
however, did the work of re-construction commence. Then the
Wisconsin Central Railroad Company broke ground, the pile drivers
began their work on the bay, the docks assumed form, and the heavily
laden steamers began to unload their freight; people came, houses
were reared, and the sound of axe and hammer echoed through the
forest and far out over the bay. The work on the road, however, has
not prospered as well as could be wished, owing to a wet season and
various other causes, yet seven miles of iron rail had been laid
toward the Iron Range, while much of the remaining distance is ready
for the ties. The iron railroad bridge at White river in the town of
Ashland is partly up and can be easily finished by the coming May.
This structure is 1,500 feet in length and 102 feet in height, being
the largest wrought iron bridge of its kind in the United States,
and will cost when complete $150,000. It was built by the Kellogg
Bridge Company, of Buffalo, N.Y. The bridge across Silver creek is
also of iron, furnished by the same firm, and will cost upwards of
$100,000. The Central is being built in a first class manner, and
when completed will be one of the best roads in the West.
We are sorry to announce this connection, that work has been
temporarily suspended, owing to financial difficulties brought on by
the Boston fire, but the work is too far advanced to remain in its
present condition long. It will be commenced with renewed vigor in
the spring and the good work finished through the Lake Michigan, we
trust, by the end of another year.
During the past season much had been accomplished. A town government
has been inaugurated. Over two miles of street has been opened and
partly graded. Eight thousand five hundred feet of sidewalk laid; a
number of bridges erected; two good school houses built and
furnished in first class style; a school district organized and two
good schools maintained; a Methodist Church organized and the work
commenced on a church edifice; a town house and jail erected, and
other town improvements made of a substantial character. There has
also been a wagon road cut out to Moose Lake, where it intersects
with the Superior and St. Croix wagon road, giving an outlet to both
places, and connecting us by a line of stages with Duluth, mails,
express and railroads. The business of the town is represented as
BankerL. C. Wilmarth
LawyersJ. C. Mathews, J. J. Miles
PaintersC. M. Dunbar, Ed. Snow
BlacksmithsJames McGuire, William Dore
Contractors and BuildersB. F. Bicksler, B. G. Armstrong, A. S.
Periner, R. Shoreland and J. W. Hetherington
Harness MakesPummerville & Sangster
ButchersAshland Market, A. Baer; Bay City Meat MarketSamuel
JewelersThomas Gaskill, J. E. Henrichson
MillinerMrs. J. W. Hetherington
SurveyorCharles H. Pratt
Books & StationaryWeed & Wilson
Drugs & MedicinesH. D. Weed
Groceries & ProvisionsFisher & Vaughn, D. McFerson, E. F. Prince
Dry Goods, Clothing & General MerchandiseE. Ingalls & Co., M.
Neumann, T. B. Green, J. B. Denomic
HardwareR. W. French, Leihy & Garnich
LumberS. S. Vaughn, Ingalls & Co., R. D. Pike
Sash, Doors & BlindsGeo White & Co
Commission MerchantsFisher & Vaughn, E. Ingalls & Co., E. F. Prince
Real Estate & InsuranceMiles & Goodwin, C. H. Pratt, L. C.
PrintingAshland Press, Sam S. & H. O. Fifield
Bridge BuildersLivingston & Bohrer
RestaurantCity Restaurant, O.K. Hall
Express AgentE. F. Prince
HotelsColby House, J. M. Davis, Pro.; Adams House, Watson & Co.,
Pro.; Ashland House, G.O. Peckham, Pro.; Russell House, C. W. & D.
C. Stoddard, Proprietors
SalloonsMetropolitan, Peter Steffan; PeerlessW. P. Preston;
Central Saloon, F. Schupp, Iron City House, Jerry Marcott; Ashland
Billiard Hall, Wm. Herbert.
The following is the list of improvements for the year ending Dec.
BAY CITY DIVISION
Prominent among the improvement made the past season are those
of the Ashland Lumber Company, including the saw mill built by Van
Dyke, Parsons & Moore, and recently sold by them to the Company
above mentioned. This mill is one of the most complete manufacturing
establishments on Lake Superior. The building is 29x130 feet, with a
stone, fire proof engine room 24x50. It is furnished with one high
pressure, 16 inch cylinder, 24 inch stroke engine, fed by two
forty-four inch, five flue boilers, 20 feet long, with seventy-five
horse power capacity 40,000 feet of lumber in ten hours. It
contains sixteen saws, viz: One double rotary 56 and 32 inches; one
gang edger of five saws; one cutting off saw, one of Meigs patent
gang bolter and lath machines, containing six saws, with a capacity
of 50,000 lath per day; one of Whites automatic shingle mills that
cuts 40,000 shingles in 10 hours. It is furnished throughout with
friction geering, and the machinery is so arranged that any one
piece can be stopped without interfering with the rest in the least.
The mill is protected from fire by a large force pump, capable with
hose attached, of throwing over the entire building. The fires and
fed and the logs turned by power, and in fact the entire arrangement
of the machinery is perfect. The machinery was manufactured by J.L.
Dixon & Co., Dubuque, and was designed by O. C. Meigs, of their
establishment. The booms and piers are yet to be finished, including
a dock for loading lumber and landing freight. The proprietors will
start up their mill next march and will get out an abundant supply
of logs the present winter. The Company will probably, when fairly
at work, give employment to one hundred men.
The cost of the mill as it now stands is in round figures $30,000.
When all the improvements are fully completed, this will be
increased to $50,000.
The next improvement in value is the sash, door and blind factory of
Geo. White & Co. This establishment is a first class one in every
particular. It is furnished with the latest improved machinery, and
has the capacity for turning out a large amount of manufactured
goods in their line of business. The building is 30x60, three
stories high, located on the bay with a spacious and convenient year
adjoining for lumber, dry house, etc. The engine house is built as
an L to the main building and everything is fitted up in good
substantial style. Next season it is designed to add several
important improvements, such as a dock, warehouse, etc. The cost of
this factory, as far as completed, is $9,000.
Anson Northrups saw mill is the next expensive improvement. The
building is ready for the machinery, which will be put in early next
spring. It is 26x40, two stories high and with the boom piers,
readway, etc., cost $5,000.
Ashland Lumber Cos was mill
Geo. White & Cos sash & door
Anson Northrups saw mill
T. W. Hazen, and G. R. Stuntz, store, 24x50 St. Clair
T. W. Hazen, dwelling, 22x28, 2 story
Van Dyke & Parsons, bdng house, 1 story
Saml Oseander, market, 18x36, 2 story
S. V. Kent, dwelling, 18x20, one story
B. G. Armstrong, dwelling, 24x28, 2 story
B. McDonald, dwelling, 16x20, 1 story
A. Pariott, dwelling, 16x20, 1 story
A. LaSalle, dwelling, 18x24, 1 ½ story
Peter Moses, dwelling, 16x20, 1 story
School House, Dist. No. 1
Andrew Hasley, dwelling, 16x20, 1 story
Bay City Creek Bridge, 440 ft l, 120 ft h, 24 ft
Joseph LeBelle, dwelling, 24x40, 2 story
Capt. Angus, reprs dwelling, 18x24, 2 story
Martin Roehm, dwelling, 24x36, 2 story
Nelson Pero, dwelling, 16x24, 1 story
T. W. Forbes, dwelling, 18x24, 1 ½ story...
S. N. Hanson, dwelling, 24x16, 1 ½ story...
P & W Gotzenberger, wagon shop, 20x32
G. Johnson, dwelling, 22x30, 1 ½ story
Geo. White, dwelling, 22x35, 1 ½ story
Geo. Childs, dwelling, 20x32, 2 story
Henry Folsom, dwelling, 18x24, 1 ½ story
Frank Bird, dwelling, 18x20, 1 story
Edwin Ellis, Drug Store, 20x32, 1 ½ story
Edwin Ellis, dwelling, 26x32, L 18x30, 2 story, stable,
A. Northrup, boarding house, 18x52 with L
Ole Olson, dwelling, 16x26, 1 story
W.G.R.R. tempy Roundhouse, etc, 25x120
Ole Storeman, dwelling, 16x24, 1 ½ story
Jacob Ruse, dwelling, 16x24, 1 story
Jas. Young, dwelling, Front st., 22x30, 2 story
J. Scherbuneaux, 3d st., 22x30, 2 story
F. Schupp, front st., saloon & dwelling; with L 20x32, 2 stories,
John Murch, dwelling, 21 st., 16x30, 1 story
John Rosen, dwelling, 21 st., 22x30, 1 ½ story
Peter Steffan, 2d st., saloon & dwelling, 22x32, with L and
Christ. Shaffer, 2d st., bakery, dwelling, 22x32, two
E. Ellis, 21 st., law office, 18x24, 1 story
Unknown, dwelling, 12x22, front st., 1 story
Total amt expended in Bay City Division
OLD ASHLAND DIVISION
H.D. Weed, drug store, 2d st., 22x40, 2 sty, with
E.C. Davis, boarding house, 2 story, 20x40
J.A. Wilson, repairs on house, new barn
J.A. Wilson, repairs on
* The next 5 entries are unreadable and cannot be added to this
list. Amount of those listed are about
Benser Est. reps on dwlng, cor., wis av
J. McLean, dwlng 16x24, 1 ½ story, wis. ave.
Lars Salle, dwlng, 16x24, 1 sty, wis. avenue
Jerry Marcott, saloon, 20x32, 2 story, 2 st
J. Marshall, shoe shop, 24x20, 2d st., 1 sty
Capt. Tanner, dwlng, 14x24, 1 sty, 2d st
Russell House, Stoddard Bros., 2d st., 24x52, 3
J. Marshall, house, 18x24, 1 sty, 3d street
Jerry Marcott, house, 14x14, 1 sty, 3d street
James McGuire, house, 18x24, 1 ½ sty, 3d street.
J. S. Walker, stable, 26x32, 3d street
School House, 3d & Missouri ave, 25x44
Ed. West, house, Georgia ave., 22x24, 1 story
R.W. French, store, 21st. 25x60, 2 story
Pummerville & Sangster, harness shop, 20x36
F. X. Schottmuller, brewery & res., 34x35, Wisconsin ave., 2
Beaser Estate, dwelling, main street
H. Balcom, dwelling, 21 st., 16x24, 2 story
A. Baer, dwelling, 21 st., 16x24, 1 ½ story
Ludger Marcott, dwelling, 21 st., 16x24, 2 story
B. F. Bicksler, dwlng, Ala. St., 1 sty,
H. O. Fifield, dwlng, 31 & Del. st., 18x35, 1 ½ st
T. Brunett, dwlng, 2d street, 16x24, 1 ½ story
Shields & Wheelock, feed stable, 24x40, 2d st
Eugene F. Prince, dwel. cor., main & 2d st. 24x32, 2 sto. With
addition 16x24, reps
E. F. Prince, store, main st., 24x48, 1 story
Eckle estate, dwelling, main st., 16x24, reps
Struckmyer & Cundy, 2 tenement dwlg, 21x40, 2 stories, Front st
Ed. Ingalls & Co., store, cor. 2d & main, 24x60
Ed. Ingall & Co. Dock, 1,100 ft, warehouse, etc
R. Shoreland, Dwelling & Shop, 2d st.,
Fred. Peterson, swede hotal, 18x20, 2d st.,
L.C. Wilmarth, dwelling and Oil Co,
D. McPherson, store, 2d street; 20x40
Alec. Livingston, dwelling, Front st
Watson & Co., Adams House, 2d st., 22x60,
Town House and Jail, 22x36,
A. W. Wheelock, dwelling, Front street, 16x20,
-- Allie, dwelling, Front street, 16x24,
B. Hoppenyan, dwelling, 2d st., reprs.,
A. Perinier, addition to dwelling, 2d st.,
Total amount expended in Ashland
Wisconsin Central Railroad Dock, 1556 ft.
Warf 200x112 ft with guard rail and ice piers
Clearing depot, grounds, side track, Etc.,
Wis. Cent-R-R- Offices, Front street,
Livingston & Carroll, office, Front street,
Fisher & Vaughns dock, 1,600 ft long, warehouse
30x225, doc No. 2, 22x70
W. T. Kitterage, dwelling, 16x24, Front st,
Oliver st. German, dwelling, 21 street,
do shoe shop, Grant Avenue,
do paint shop,
G. Baun, Tobacco store, 21 street, 16x36,
M. Neumann, store 24x65, 2d street,
M. Neumann, warehouse,
J. B. Bono, Meat Market, 2d street,
Leiby & Guruich, store, 24x30 L 20x30, 2d st,
James McGuire, blacksmith shop,
A. Baer, Market, 18x40, corner Vaughn av,
N & J Staughton, store, cor Lake av & 2d,
W P Preston, saloon, 2d street, 24x60, 2 st,
William Bersh, store, 18x26, 2 story,
J B Denomie, store, 14x18, 1 ½ story, 2 d st,
do Ice House,
Miles Carroll, dwelling, 22x30, 2d street,
J M Davis, Colby House, 40x36,
Charles Bryer, barber shop, 2d street,
Ed snow, paint shop, 16x24, 2d street,
Sam S&Hank O. Fifield, printing office, 2d st,
Charles Fisher, dwelling, Front street,
28x38, 2 story, L 15x36, 1 ½ ato & stable,
Charles Pratt, dwelling, barn, etc. 2d st,
A. Welcome, dwelling, Front street, 22x36,
2 story: L 15x36, 1 ½ story, etc,
F. McElroy, Furniture store, 24x60, Front st,
O.K. Hall, hotel, 22x30, 2 story,
John McCloud, store, 22x30,
George Peckham, Ashland House,
Julius Austrain, warehouse, 42x70,
do dwelling, 20x30 2story, Front st,
S S Vaughn, 22x36, stable
John Dore, blacksmith shop, Vaughn Av,
Total improvements Vaughns Division................................
City Improvements, not elsewhere given,
Bay City Division,
Total amt expended in improvements,
To this, should we add the cost of the construction of the railroad
through the town, together with the iron bridge at White river, also
in the town, we should swell the total amount expended in
improvements in the town if Ashland during the year 1872 to nearly
half a million dollars, but aside from this, we are well satisfied
with the figures, and challenge any town in the State to show a
better record of the past year. When it is taken into consideration
that all the improvements above enumerated were made within the
space of seven months time, we think we can truly say well done!
THE LOOK AHEAD
What of the coming year? Well, we are not prophet, and just now it
is a hard matter to calculate what is in store for us. If work is
resumed on the road and pushed, so that the cars can reach the
Peloka Range by July or August, much will be accomplished towards
building a city at Ashland. For with this path open to the iron
fields, their development will speedily commence, and upon this
great work depends much of our future prosperity. But as matters are
now it is useless to speculate. We have faith, however, to believe,
that 1873 will show a still greater increase of invested capital,
more business and better times than the past year.
WHAT WE NEED
The great want of our city if manufactories and men of capital and
energy to run them. These we must have before we can support a large
population. The inducements are here and facilities for doing
business profitably soon will be. We need a large first class hotel,
and must have it before we can expect to entertain our share of the
Lake Superior pleasure travel, and we need a large number of live,
industrious people, to help build up and hew out of the wilderness,
Wisconsins future city of Lake Superior. To all such we give an
invitation to come, and take the chance with us. Our town has a good
start, contains about 700 people, is free from debt, with money in
the treasury; is pleasantly located on one of the finest harbors in
the world, with a perfectly healthy climate, and surrounded with an
untold wealth of mineral and almost exhaustless forests of tine and
other timber, that must, when developed, make us a thrifty, wealthy
In conclusion we desire to return thanks to Hon. Asaph Whittlesey,
Eugene F. Prince, Esq.., and Mr. J. A. Wilson, for information
contained in this Article.
History of Northern
Wisconsin (Ashland County, 1881) pages 66-70
Ashland is situated on a plateau, about thirty feet above the level
of the lake, on the south shore of the Chequamegon Bay. The village
stretches along the shore for two miles. It has a fine harbor, large
enough to float the heaviest fleets. The village is beautifully
located, is well drained, and is healthful. It is one of the
prominent Summer resorts of the State, about 1,500 arrivals being
reported in 1881. The weather is always cool and the air good. Those
persons who suffer from hay fever find relief in this region.
On the fifth day of July, 1854, Asaph Whittlesey and George Kilborn
left La Pointe, in a row boat, with the design of finding a town
site on some available point near the head of the bay. At 5
oclock, P.M., of the same day, they landed at the westerly limit of
the present town site of Ashland. Mr. Whittlesey gives the following
account of the landing: As I stepped ashore, Mr. Kilborn exclaimed,
Here is the place for the big city! and (handing me his ax) added,
I want you to have the honor of cutting the first tree in the way
of settlement upon the town site; and the tree which I then felled
formed one of the foundation logs in the first building erected upon
what is now known as Lot 2, Block 105. This building was 14 x 10
feet square; had but one door, which faced the south, and but one
window, which was upon the north side, furnishing a full view of the
Mrs. Whittlesey and her little daughter arrived on the 16th
of August. Capt. Moses Easterbrook, of the steamer Sam Ward,
invited a number of the La Point people to join him in an excursion,
September 7, 1854, and in the afternoon landed at Ashland. The Sam
Ward, therefore, was the first steamer to land at the new city.
On September 12, 1854, the second house built on the town site was
completed. It stood upon Lot 5, Block 6, and was 13 x 15 feet, one
story. In this building Mr. and Mrs. Whittlesey found a temporary
home, until the completion of the third cabin, which was built upon
the town site in 1854. Mr. Whittlesey prepared the logs for this
building himself, with but the help of a yoke of oxen. Mrs.
Whittlesey assisted him in raising the logs to the chamber floor and
adjusting the joist for the second story. It was built upon Lot 6,
Block 6, and was 20 x 30 feet in size. It had floors of lumber, a
front stoop, back kitchen, mud oven and mud chimney. This
house has quite a history, besides being the residence of the first
settlers. The Whittleseys moved into it November, 1854, and the same
month the first dancing on the town site was done there. In this
house during the following Winter, the Rev. L. H. Wheeler, of the
Odanah Mission, preached the first sermon. In March 1855, the first
post-office was established there, and there the Fourth of July
celebration of 1855 was held. It was the birth place of the second
daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Whittlesey, in May 1856, she being the
first American child born on the town site. The first election of
Ashland county officers was held in November, 1856. Within its walls
the first Sabbath school was organized by Ingraham Fletcher in 1858,
and the same year it was the scene of a tragedy, in which Robert D.
Boyd was shot and killed by Henry Cross, which occurred January 10,
1858. While in a fit of intoxication, Boyd approached Cross with a
drawn butcher knife, in a threatening manner, as if about to strike,
when Cross drew a revolver and fired two shots, one entereing Boyds
heart. Cross was arrested and aquitted. Of their first celebration
of Fourth of July (1855), Mr. Whittlesey gives the following
description: On the day referred to, the Declaration of
Independence was read by Asaph Whittlesey, and this, with the
delivery of an oration by A. W. Burt, with singing and amusements,
constituted the first public Fourth of July celebration in the
history of Ashland. The exercises were had at Whittleseys house, in
the after part of the day, and extended late in the evening, when
music and dancing were added to the festivities of the day. The
ladies present were Mrs. Haskell, Mrs. Whittlesy, the two Mrs.
Corser and Mrs. Farley. The gentlemen present weree J. T. Haskell,
George Kilborn, Lawrence Farley, Austin and John Corser, Asaph
Whittlesley, A. W. Butt, A. J. Barkley, Adam Goeltz, John Donaldson,
Conrad Goeltz, Andrew Scobie and Duncan Sinclaire. The children
present were Eugenia E. Whittlesley (less than three years old),
George, son of Mr. and Mrs. Austin Corser, also a child of Mr. and
Mrs. John Corser,, and William, John, Joseph and Hattie Haskell,
children of Mr. and Mrs. J. P. T. Haskell.
Ashland was given its name by Martin Beaser, who was an ardent
admirer of Henry Clay; and give the new town in the name of Clays
Mr. Whittlesey was the first Postmaser, appointed in 1855. The
amount of post office money he returned to the Government at the
close of his term of service was $8.53.
When the petition was sent to Washington asking for the
establishment of a post-office at Ashland, La Pointe Co. Wis., there
was another office by the name of Ashland in the State and it was
therefore given the name of Whittlesey, which it retained until July
30, 1860, when the obstacle to a change being removed, it was given
the name of Ashland, and was designated as being in Ashland county.
G. L. Brunschweiler surveyed and platted the town site of Ashland,
embracing Lots 1, 2 and 3, and the north half of the southwest
quarter, northwest quarter of southeast quarter and northeast
quarter, Section 5, Town 47, Range 4, in 1854.
Schuyler Goff, County Judge, entered the same at the United States
Land office at Superior, under the laws then governing the location
of town sites on Lake Superior, December 11, 1856, for the benefit
of the owners and occupants. Asaph Whittlesey owned one eighth,
George Kilborn one eighth, and Martin Beaser three fourths.
The second family was Mr. and Mrs. John P. T. Haskell, who came
November 2, 1854. They left about a year after.
Many new comers arrived during the first few years after the
settlement, among them Martin Beaser, who located permanently in
Ashland in 1856, and was one of its founders. He was born in Erie
Co. N.Y., October 27, 1822. He left Buffalo when fourteen years of
age; went to New Beford, Mass., and engaged in whaling for seven
years; then returned to Buffalo for a short period; went to Lake
Superior, via Mackinaw, by steamer, and from there to Ontonagon in a
small sailing vessel; resided in that place and was in the
mercantile business; had made several trips to the vicinity of
Ashland;. Finally, in February, 1856, he with Dr. G. L.
Brunschweiler and two Indians, with a dog-train, came over on the
ice to Ashland, and, with others, laid out the village plat. His
family came in September, 1856. He engaged in the mercantile
business until the war broke out, and was drowned in the bay while
attempting to come from Bayfield to Ashland, in an open boat, during
a storm, November 4, 1866. He is buried on the island, at La Pointe.
Mr. Beaser was ranked among the first settlers of Ashland. He was
closely identified with enterprises tending to open up the country;
was wealthy and expended freely; was a man of fine discretion and
good common sense; when others were discouraged at Ashlands future,
he was full of hope, and stuck to it till his death.
Among others who came during 1855 or a few years later, were Austin
Corser, John Corser, Conrad and Adam Goeltz, A. J. Barclay, G. L.
Brunschweiler, M. H. Mandlebaum, George R. and Albert C. Stuntz,
Martin Roehm, Dr. Edwin Ellis, Henry Drixler, Capt. J. D. Angus and
wife, Mrs. Beaser, Mrs. Conrad Goeltz, and John Beck and family.
The first cabin was begun by Kilborn & Whittlesey, July 5, 1854, and
was twelve by fourteen feet in size; the second cabin was built by
Kilborn & Whittlesey, September 9, 1854; the third by Asaph
Whittlesey; the fourth by Conrad Goeltz; the fifth by Martin Beaser;
the sixth by Myron Tomkins; the seventh by Lawrence Farley; the
eighth by Charles Halmet; the ninth by Anthony Fisher; the tenth by
Frederick Bauman. Martin Beaser bought the first yoke of oxen. Two
hundred bushels of potatoes were raised on the town site in 1855. On
December 3, same year, the steamer Algonquin arrived and left 225
barrels of freight and 70,000 feet of lumber. The first saloon was
opened by Jonas Whitney, in 1856, and about the same time Martin
Beaser opened the first store.
Martin Beaser built a dock in the Fall of 1855. In May, 1856, this
dock was carried away. The steamer Superior came into the bay, saw
fragments of the dock, and instead of landing, put back to LaPointe.
In those days the steamers Lady Elgin and Superior landed
freight. The imports in 1854 amounted to $981; in 1855 to $4,256.
Vaughns division of Ashland was pre-empted by S. S. Vaughn,
October 25, 1856. Bay City was surveyed and platted the same year, a
stock company, of which Dr. Edwin Ellis was the agent, owned the
town site. A store, hotel and several other buildings were erected.
Bay City was vacated in 1860 and part of the original plat restored
in 1872. It was called Ellis division of Ashland. In the early
days of Bay City a dock was built about 100 yards east of Whites
factory, about 500 feet into the lake. It was made of cribs of logs
pinned together with wooden pins. These cribs had no piling; they
were fastened together by stringers. On the morning of April 1,
1855, the people awoke to find the ice and dock had disappeared. In
December, 1855, two docks were built; one, the Bay City dock, near
the sash factory, and the other at the foot of Main street. These
docks were carried away May 1, 1856; the Bay City dock was rebuilt,
but during the Winter of 1856-7 the ice was too much for it, and at
the opening of navigation it had disappeared except the sunken cribs
which are still visible.
Mineral excitement and the prospect of a railroad brought many
new-comers during 1856-7; but the gloomy days of 1858-9 were
exceedingly dark for Ashland; and one after another of her citizens
became discouraged and departed many going to Ontonagon, Bayfield
and La Pointe. Martin Roehm and wife (who were the first couple
married in the town) alone remained, and were the sole inhabitants
of the place for a number of years. In 1871 many old settlers
returned. The Ashland post-office was again established, with James
A. Wilson as Postmaster.
In 1872 the Wisconsin Central Railroad began work at the bay, and at
the same time many people arrived: houses were erected and the
re-construction of the city progressed rapidly. The improvements in
Ashland for the year 1872, not taking into consideration the cost of
the railroad or the iron bridge at White River, amounted to
Post-office. Asaph Whittlesley was the first Postmaster. Martin
Beaser was appointed his successor. The office was discontinued in
1863; was again established in 1872, and James A. Wilson
commissioned Postmaster. He has continued in that position ever
since. During the time Mr. Whittlesey was Postmaster mail was
received via Chippewa Falls once a week. In 1860 the route was from
Superior City to Ontonagon semi-weekly. In 1872, when the office was
re-established, mail was received tri-weekly via Lake Superior and
Bayfield by packers, but the Postmaster and citizens of Ashland
were obliged to arrange for private service from Bayfield by
subscription. In 1873 this route was continued to Ashland. At that
time the Government was paying contractors $41.25 a trip from
Superior City to Ashland, which was expensive, considering the
amount of mail received sometimes. The Postmasters salary was
small; no allowance was made for transportation, and the people
suffered continuously from vexatious delays until the railroad
facilities obviated the difficulties. A daily mail is now received.
Schools. The first school was taught in 1859, Miss Julia Wheeler
being the teacher. School was kept in a house of Duncan Sinclair,
which is now occupied by Charles L. Judd. September 30, 1872, the
School Board appropriated $3,000 for two school-houses, one for Bay
City and one for Ashland, the latter to be situated on the corner of
Illinois and Third streets. The buildings were finished by the end
of the year. Owing to the long distance between them, another school
was started in the middle of the village in 1875, in a building on
Second street. The average attendance is about 115 scholars.
Religious. The Methodist Episcopals organized the first Protestant
society, and built their first church in 1872, having at that time
about a dozen members. The first pastor was Rev. W. D. Bennett. He
was succeeded in turn by W. G. Bancroft, who officiated until 1876,
when Rev. John T. Cheynoeth was located here and remained until
1879, at which date Rev. Mr. Howes, the last clergyman appointed to
the charge, entered upon his pastorate.
The Congregationalists organized in 1872, with but a half-dozen
members, and chose W. E. Safford pastor. He was succeeded by Rev. W.
E. Dreimer. As there was not strength enough to maintain two church
societies, the fore-going organizations were abandoned, and a new
society, under the forms of Presbyterianism, was created, with Rev.
Angus McKinnon pastor.
St. Agnes on the Lake Catholic Church was established by Rev. Father
Quigley from Bayfield. Work was begun on the new church in 1873, but
it remains unfinished, though services have been held therein since
1877. Father Quigley left in 1874, and was succeeded by Father
Chebul, who remained till 1875. After this date missionary services
were held occasionally by Fathers Geuin and Buh up to 1877. Prior to
that time services were observed in private residences. Father Buh
was the first priest to hold services in the new church in 1877. He
left in the Fall of the same year, when Father Schuttlehofer, who
has charge of the missions from Stevens Point to Bayfield, took
charge, and held services regularly at short periods till 1879. The
mission work was then resumed by the Franciscan Brothers, who have
charge of it still, in connection with this church. A Sisters
school will be opened in October.
Societies. Ancient Land Mark Lodge, A.F. & A.M., No. 210, was
organized in 1877, with the following charter members: Edwin Ellis,
Sam S. Fifield, Geo. White, James A. Wilson, E. C. Smith, T. D.
Green, R. W. French, W. W. Rich, B. F. Bicksler, James T. Kent, J.
J. Miles. At the first election the following officers were elected:
Edwin Ellis,, W.M.; Sam S. Fifield, S.W.; George White, J.W.; James
A. Wilson, treasurer; J. J. Miles, secretary; R. W. French, S.D.; B.
F. Bicksler, J.D.; E. C. Smith and T. H. Green, S.; James T. Kent,
tyler. Present officers are: Sam S. Fifield, W.M.; W. M. Tomkins,
S.W.; M. J. Hart, J.W.; E. H. Wilson, secretary; R. W. French,
treasurer. Present membership about 30.
Ashland Lodge, No. 263, I.O.O.F., was instituted August 8, 1881,
with the following charter members: Michael J. Hart, J. M. Davis,
David Powers, S. Osiander, A. H. Brooks, John Young, Jacob Beck, The
following officers were elected: Angus McKinnon, N.G.; Michael J.
Hart, V.G.; David Powers, secretary; J. M. Davis, treasurer; A. H.
Brooks, permanent secretary.
In August, 1876, a Good Templars lodge, called Polar Star lodge,
No. 217, was organized with thirty-five charter members. The
following officers were installed for the first term: T. W. Peck,
W.C.T.; Mrs. M. J. Hasey, W.V.T.; B. F. Bicksler, W. Chap.; W. M.
Tomkins, W.R.S.; Miss Ella Peckham, W.A.S.; P. M. Beaser, W.F.S.;
Miss Ida White, W.T.; C. M. Moore, W.M.; Miss H. M. Tomkins, W.D.M.;
Miss Clara French, W.I.G.; H. D. Thompson, W.O.G.; Miss Kate Hayes,
W.R.H.S.; Miss Anna Tilden, W.L.H.S.; Edwin Ellis, P.W.C.T. The
lodge flourished for two years, at one time having a membership of
seventy-five, and was a power in the community. In the summer of
1878 some of its active members removed, and it ceased to exist.
A Library Association was organized in November, 1872. The first
officers were: Sam S. Fifield, president; Jas. A. Wilson, treasurer;
C. H. Pratt, secretary. The society prospered for several years.
Meetings were held often, and debates and reading of essays were a
feature of the programme. The association kept up until the town
library was started, when this organization was discontinued.
The Press. The first paper published in this locality was the
Bayfield Mercury, by Hamilton Hatch. Its initial number was issued
June 20, 1857, at Bayfield, in the building now owned and occupied
by James Chapman. It was printed, with an occasional omission, until
October of the same year, when it was discontinued. The office
materials, press, etc., were put in charge of S. S. Vaughn, who sold
them to pay the debts incurred in the original purchase. A part of
the type was sent to Detroit. In October, 1859, Joe J. Campbell
purchased the press and started the Bayfield Press, with a part of
the Mercurys material. The Press was issued irregularly until some
time in the Spring of 1861, when it starved out, and the material
was shipped down the lake. The papers were the same size as the
present Press; both were Democratic, and regular Simon-pure
Breckenridge-Bourbon at that, though Joe Campbell himself was an
Abolitionist. On the 13th of October, 1870, the Bayfield
Press was established and issued by Sam S. and H. O. Fifield, edited
by the latter. Its publication was discontinued June 1, 1872, the
Ashland Press succeeding it the week following at Ashland, being
printed with the same material, and published and edited by Sam S.
and H. O. Fifield, Sam S. having joined H. O. in the Ashland
enterprise and assumed the editorial and business management, with
H. O. as local editor. The Press was continued under this management
until June 1, 1874, when Sam S. purchased H. O.s interest, enlarged
the paper, and has since published it.
The Chronicle made its first appearance, April 3, 1880, edited by W.
M. Tomkins. It received a liberal support from the people of Ashland
County; but being run as a branch of an Oshkosh publication, upon
the latter failing, the Chronicle suspended, about three months
after its introduction here.
The Hotel Chequamegon was erected by the Wisconsin Central Railroad
Company in 1877; under contract of Perinier & White, of Ashland. It
was opened, under the management of Pratt & Andress, August 1, 1877.
In 1878, Pratt was succeeded by Stephen Knowlton, and the firm
became Andress & Knowlton. In 1870, Sam S. Fifield was the lessee,
with Charles L. Andress as assistant manager, who ran it till May 1,
1880, when Abner Ross superintended it till August 1. He was
succeeded by Samuel H. Brown, who now manages it for the railroad
company. The hotel is situated on an elevated plateau, about 300
feet from the lake. It is built in the shape of the letter L, 120
feet front by 80 deep; has a wing back, for kitchen and laundry; it
is three stories in height; affording 400 feet of verandahs,
contains sixty guest rooms; large dining-room, with seatings for 100
people; large office and parlors on ground-floor; is fitted with
electric bells, and furnished nicely throughout; has a bowling-alley
and billiard room attached.
Its supply of water is pumped from the lake to reservoirs to an
elevation, so as to give force at the hydrants; and has large
grounds surrounding it, with a park in front.
Colby House, the first hotel and third frame building erected in
Ashland, was built by J. M. Davis, the present proprietor, in the
Spring of 1871, and was rebuilt in 1881. It is situated on Second
and Vaughn streets, and has a capacity for forty people.
There are numerous other hotels in the place, among which should be
mentioned the Lindell Hotel, Hopkins House, Central House, Penoka
House, Scandinavian Hotel, Petersons Hotel, and White River House.
Several private boarding-houses receive guests during the Summer
The Lumber interest of Ashland is assuming considerable proportions.
There are three large mills located here, and the promise of two
more to be built before another year passes. It is estimated that
the cut for the season of 1881, will amount to 20,000,000 feet, most
of which is shipped easily by the lakes. There are probably
2,000,000,000 feet tributary to Ashland.
Ashland Lumber Company erected the first mill on Chequamegon Bay in
1872. The company was organized at the same time, with the following
officers: C. A. Sheffield, president; E. H. Moore, secretary and
treasurer. The same officers hold now with the exception of Mr.
Moore, who was succeeded by W. R. Sutherland in 1874. The mill has a
capacity of 50,000 feet in eleven hours. The company ships a large
portion of its lumber west, via Duluth, for the Northern Pacific
trade by the better grades go east to Chicago, and have shipped
considerable as far east as Burlington, Vt.
Union Mill Company. This company was organized April, 1878. The
mill was built the same year. The first officers were: H. J. James,
president; S. Blake, vice-president; W. R. Durfee, secretary; George
Remington, treasurer. The present officers are: H. J. James,
president and manager; J. H. James, vice-president; W. R. Durfee,
secretary and treasurer. The company owns a fine dock. The mill has
a capacity of 55,000 feet per day. The estimated manufacture for
season 1881, is 7,000,000 feet. Their shipment goes mostly to
Chicago, with some to Duluth and the Canada trade.
Mueller & Ritchie built their mill at Bay City in 1881. It has a
capacity of 60,000 feet per day.
There is also a planing mill, sash and door factory, George White,
The usual trades are represented here by shops and workmen.
Ashland Boom and Canal Co., was organized in 1881. The officers are:
R. F. Sprague, president; H. M. Fuller, vice-president; T. J.
Potter, treasurer; John H. Knight, secretary.
The first brewery was built in Bay City, but was discontinued after
a short time. The Ashland Brewery was built in 1872, by Frank
Schottmuller. Additions were made in 1878. The products are disposed
The steam boats of the Lake Superior Transit Company for Buffalo and
Duluth, connect with this point at Bayfield. The Lake Michigan &
Lake Superior Transportation Companys boats touch at this place, en
route to Duluth and Chicago. The steamer Manistee, belonging to
this company, plys between Hancock and Duluth, touching at this
point. The little steamers Favorite and Eva Wadsworth, carry
freight and passengers between Ashland and Bayfield.
The first dock built in new Ashland was constructed by S. S. Vaughn,
in 1872, at the foot of Lake street into the lake about 1,000 feet.
In 1881, during the storm, the drifting logs lifted off a part of
the upper covering of the dock for about 250 feet. The Wisconsin
Central Railroad dock was built in 1873; runs into the lake 1,500
feet; cost $30,000, and is one of the finest in the country.
In 1872, E. F. Prince established an express line, between Ashland
and Duluth in connection with the Lake Superior Express, connecting
at Duluth with the United States Express Company, in Summer by the
lake and Winter by stage, this continued to the time when the
railroad was completed, when it was discontinued, and the business
is now done by the American Express Company.
In December, 1872, the panic striking the country disorganized the
plans of the railroad company to such an extent that the
Phillips-Colby Construction Company was obliged to suspend work on
the Lake Superior Division. This suspension threw out of employment
800 men, who were located in various camps along the line between
Ashland and Penoka. Orders were received by Capt. W. W. Rich,
superintendent, to notify the men to quit work and to remain in camp
till the paymaster came. Some two weeks elapsed before he arrived
with the funds, during which time many of the gangs mutinied, and,
in attempting to pay off, the paymaster and his assistants were
driven from the line back to town by a mob at Kelleys camp. On
arriving in town, Capt. Rich demanded protection for himself and
assistants and the property of the company. The town authorities,
being helpless, called upon Nelson Boutin, Sheriff of Ashland and
Bayfield counties, residing at Bayfield (united at that time for
judicial purposes), who on the night of January 1, 1873, arrived
with forty-two men armed, equipped with muskets, under command of
Capt. Pike, of Bayfield. The Sheriff and posse remained in Ashland
two weeks and preserved order until the men were paid off and safely
transported out of the country. Subsequently the State Legislature
passed a bill paying Sheriff Boutin and men for their services.
In 1873 the Town Board purchased ten acres for a cemetery, situated
about one and a half miles south of the village, on a high range
overlooking the bay. The first man buried there was John Maituguin,
who was killed October 24, 1873.
In July 1874, an attempt was made to blow up the county jail, but
without any effect. None of the five boys were ever caught.
January 1, 1878, will long be remembered by the citizens of Ashland
and Bayfield as being the scene of one of the most extraordinary
occurrences ever recorded in the history of the Lake Superior
region, viz.: an excursion from Ashland to Bayfield and return on
New-years-day by the steamer Eva Wadsworth, Capt. Patrick.
October 15, 1880 witnessed one of the worst storms on Lake Superior;
considerable damage was done about the harbor, a number of small
boats were demolished, the dock at the hotel was badly wrecked, and
about 150 feet of Vaughns dock was washed away. Other docks and
boat houses were more or less damaged.
The Government established a Signal Service station at this point in
June, 1881, under charge of M. J. Hart, who is also State Treasury
Agent. John Maher is the lumber inspector.