Wisconsin Genealogy Trails
Ashland County, Wisconsin
History Topics


Ashland! It’s Growth During the Year 1872
Source: Ashland Press (4 Jan. 1873) ; transcribed by Sandra Wright

A Quarter of a Million Dollars Expended in Improvements.
A Full List Of Buildings—Docks—And Railroad Work

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 "Queen’s 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 Vaughn’s 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. Whittlesey’s 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 Ashland’s 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 street.

"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 Vaughn’s 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 "Prentice’s 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 one’s fortune.

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 follows:

Banker—L. C. Wilmarth
Lawyers—J. C. Mathews, J. J. Miles
Physician—Charles Hayes
Painters—C. M. Dunbar, Ed. Snow
Blacksmiths—James McGuire, William Dore
Contractors and Builders—B. F. Bicksler, B. G. Armstrong, A. S. Periner, R. Shoreland and J. W. Hetherington
Tailor—Patrick Plunkett
Harness Maker—Pummerville & Sangster
Butchers—Ashland Market, A. Baer; Bay City Meat Market—Samuel Oseander
Jewelers—Thomas Gaskill, J. E. Henrichson
Tobacconist—G. Braun
Milliner—Mrs. J. W. Hetherington
Shoemaker—David Huard
Surveyor—Charles H. Pratt
Books & Stationary—Weed & Wilson
Drugs & Medicines—H. D. Weed
Groceries & Provisions—Fisher & Vaughn, D. McFerson, E. F. Prince
Dry Goods, Clothing & General Merchandise—E. Ingalls & Co., M. Neumann, T. B. Green, J. B. Denomic
Hardware—R. W. French, Leihy & Garnich
Lumber—S. S. Vaughn, Ingalls & Co., R. D. Pike
Sash, Doors & Blinds—Geo White & Co
Commission Merchants—Fisher & Vaughn, E. Ingalls & Co., E. F. Prince
Confectioner—William Bersh
Real Estate & Insurance—Miles & Goodwin, C. H. Pratt, L. C. Willmarth
Printing—Ashland Press, Sam S. & H. O. Fifield
Bridge Builders—Livingston & Bohrer
Furniture—Francis McElroy
Restaurant—City Restaurant, O.K. Hall
Express Agent—E. F. Prince
Hotels—Colby House, J. M. Davis, Pro.; Adams House, Watson & Co., Pro.; Ashland House, G.O. Peckham, Pro.; Russell House, C. W. & D. C. Stoddard, Proprietors
Salloons—Metropolitan, Peter Steffan; Peerless—W. 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. 31, 1872:
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 White’s 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 Northrup’s 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 Co’s was mill - $30,000.00
Geo. White & Co’s sash & door factory - 9,000.00
Anson Northrup’s saw mill - 5,000.00
T. W. Hazen, and G. R. Stuntz, store, 24x50 St. Clair street - 1,000.00
T. W. Hazen, dwelling, 22x28, 2 story - 800.00
Van Dyke & Parsons, bd’ng house, 1 story - 600.00
Sam’l Oseander, market, 18x36, 2 story - 900.00
S. V. Kent, dwelling, 18x20, one story - 250.00
B. G. Armstrong, dwelling, 24x28, 2 story - 1,000.00
B. McDonald, dwelling, 16x20, 1 story - 300.00
A. Pariott, dwelling, 16x20, 1 story - 200.00
A. LaSalle, dwelling, 18x24, 1 ½ story - 350.00
Peter Moses, dwelling, 16x20, 1 story - 150.00
School House, Dist. No. 1 - 2,000.00
Andrew Hasley, dwelling, 16x20, 1 story - 500.00
Bay City Creek Bridge, 440 ft l, 120 ft h, 24 ft w - 2,000.00
Joseph LeBelle, dwelling, 24x40, 2 story - 1,000.00
Capt. Angus, re’prs dwelling, 18x24, 2 story - 300.00
Martin Roehm, dwelling, 24x36, 2 story - 2,000.00
Nelson Pero, dwelling, 16x24, 1 story - 450.00
T. W. Forbes, dwelling, 18x24, 1 ½ story - 400.00
S. N. Hanson, dwelling, 24x16, 1 ½ story - 350.00
P & W Gotzenberger, wagon shop, 20x32 - 200.00
G. Johnson, dwelling, 22x30, 1 ½ story - 600.00
Geo. White, dwelling, 22x35, 1 ½ story - 550.00
Geo. Childs, dwelling, 20x32, 2 story - 800.00
Henry Folsom, dwelling, 18x24, 1 ½ story - 500.00
Frank Bird, dwelling, 18x20, 1 story - 250.00
Edwin Ellis, Drug Store, 20x32, 1 ½ story - 1,000.00
Edwin Ellis, dwelling, 26x32, L 18x30, 2 story, stable, 18x24 - 3,000.00
A. Northrup, boarding house, 18x52 with L - 800.00
Ole Olson, dwelling, 16x26, 1 story - 200.00
W.G.R.R. temp’y Roundhouse, etc, 25x120 - 2,000.00
Ole Storeman, dwelling, 16x24, 1 ½ story - 400.00
Jacob Ruse, dwelling, 16x24, 1 story - 250.00
Jas. Young, dwelling, Front st., 22x30, 2 story - 800.00
J. Scherbuneaux, 3d st., 22x30, 2 story - 600.00
F. Schupp, front st., saloon & dwelling; with L 20x32, 2 stories, and stables - 2,500.00
John Murch, dwelling, 21 st., 16x30, 1 story - 200.00
John Rosen, dwelling, 21 st., 22x30, 1 ½ story - 400.00
Peter Steffan, 2d st., saloon & dwelling, 22x32, with L and stable - 1,600.00
Christ. Shaffer, 2d st., bakery, dwelling, 22x32, two story - 1,000.00
E. Ellis, 21 st., law office, 18x24, 1 story - 300.00
Unknown, dwelling, 12x22, front st., 1 story - 200.00

Total am’t expended in Bay City Division - $77,100.00


H.D. Weed, drug store, 2d st., 22x40, 2 sty, with addition - $2,00.00
E.C. Davis, boarding house, 2 story, 20x40 - 1,500.00
J.A. Wilson, repairs on house, new barn - 600.00
J.A. Wilson, repairs on house, - 500.00

* The next 5 entries are unreadable and cannot be added to this list. Amount of those listed are about


Benser Est. reps on dwl’ng, cor., wis av - 400.00

J. McLean, dwl’ng 16x24, 1 ½ story, wis. ave - 350.00

Lars Salle, dwl’ng, 16x24, 1 sty, wis. avenue - 400.00

Jerry Marcott, saloon, 20x32, 2 story, 2 st - 100.00

J. Marshall, shoe shop, 24x20, 2d st., 1 sty - 200.00

Capt. Tanner, dwl’ng, 14x24, 1 sty, 2d st - 200.00

Russell House, Stoddard Bros., 2d st., 24x52, 3 sty - 2,300.00

J. Marshall, house, 18x24, 1 sty, 3d street - 250.00

Jerry Marcott, house, 14x14, 1 sty, 3d street - 100.00

James McGuire, house, 18x24, 1 ½ sty, 3d street - 500.00

J. S. Walker, stable, 26x32, 3d street - 250.00

School House, 3d & Missouri ave, 25x44 - 2,500.00

Ed. West, house, Georgia ave., 22x24, 1 story - 400.00

R.W. French, store, 21st. 25x60, 2 story - 2,000.00

Pummerville & Sangster, harness shop, 20x36 - 400.00

F. X. Schottmuller, brewery & res., 34x35, Wisconsin ave., 2 story - 4,000.00

Beaser Estate, dwelling, main street - 200.00

H. Balcom, dwelling, 21 st., 16x24, 2 story - 400.00

A. Baer, dwelling, 21 st., 16x24, 1 ½ story - 300.00

Ludger Marcott, dwelling, 21 st., 16x24, 2 story - 400.00

B. F. Bicksler, dwl’ng, Ala. St., 1 sty, 18x24 - 900.00

H. O. Fifield, dwl’ng, 31 & Del. st., 18x35, 1 ½ st - 800.00

T. Brunett, dwl’ng, 2d street, 16x24, 1 ½ story - 400.00

Shields & Wheelock, feed stable, 24x40, 2d st - 250.00

Eugene F. Prince, dwel. cor., main & 2d st. 24x32, 2 sto. With addition 16x24, reps - 2,000.00

E. F. Prince, store, main st., 24x48, 1 story - 800.00

Eckle estate, dwelling, main st., 16x24, reps - 400.00

Struckmyer & Cundy, 2 tenement dwl’g, 21x40, 2 stories, Front st - 1,500.00

Ed. Ingalls & Co., store, cor. 2d & main, 24x60 - 2,500.00

Ed. Ingall & Co. Dock, 1,100 ft, warehouse, etc - 15,000.00

R. Shoreland, Dwelling & Shop, 2d st. - 500.00

Fred. Peterson, swede hotal, 18x20, 2d st - 800.00

L.C. Wilmarth, dwelling and Oil Co - 1,200.00

D. McPherson, store, 2d street; 20x40 - 1,000.00

Alec. Livingston, dwelling, Front st - 1,000.00

Watson & Co., Adams House, 2d st., 22x60 - 1,500.00

Town House and Jail, 22x36 - 800.00

A. W. Wheelock, dwelling, Front street, 16x20 - 100.00

-- Allie, dwelling, Front street, 16x24 - 200.00

B. Hoppenyan, dwelling, 2d st., reprs - 200.00

A. Perinier, addition to dwelling, 2d st - 200.00

Total amount expended in Ashland Div - $57,300.00


Wisconsin Central Railroad Dock, 1556 ft.

Warf 200x112 ft with guard rail and ice piers  - 40,000.00

Clearing depot, grounds, side track, Etc - 1,600.00

Wis. Cent-R-R- Offices, Front street - 2,500.00

Livingston & Carroll, office, Front street - 1,000.00

Fisher & Vaughn’s dock, 1,600 ft long, warehouse 30x225, doc No. 2, 22x70 - 23.000.00

W. T. Kitterage, dwelling, 16x24, Front st - 300.00

Oliver st. German, dwelling, 21 street - 1,000.00

do saloon, - 400.00

do shoe shop, Grant Avenue - 400.00

do paint shop - 200.00

G. Baun, Tobacco store, 21 street, 16x36 - 1,000.00

M. Neumann, store 24x65, 2d street - 2,500.00

M. Neumann, warehouse - 150.00

J. B. Bono, Meat Market, 2d street - 300.00

Leiby & Guruich, store, 24x30 L 20x30, 2d st - 1,500.00

James McGuire, blacksmith shop - 300.00

A. Baer, Market, 18x40, corner Vaughn av - 800.00

N & J Staughton, store, cor Lake av & 2d - 2,300.00

W P Preston, saloon, 2d street, 24x60, 2 st - 2,000.00

William Bersh, store, 18x26, 2 story - 600.00

J B Denomie, store, 14x18, 1 ½ story, 2 d st - 200.00

do dwelling, " "  - .600.00

do Ice House, " "  - 150.00

Miles Carroll, dwelling, 22x30, 2d street, - 1,000.00

J M Davis, Colby House, 40x36 - 1,800.00

Charles Bryer, barber shop, 2d street - 200.00

Ed snow, paint shop, 16x24, 2d street - 250.00

Sam S&Hank O. Fifield, printing office, 2d st, - 2,000.00

Charles Fisher, dwelling, Front street,

28x38, 2 story, L 15x36, 1 ½ ato & stable - 3,500.00

Charles Pratt, dwelling, barn, etc. 2d st - 1,300.00

A. Welcome, dwelling, Front street, 22x36, 2 story: L 15x36, 1 ½ story, etc,  - 2,500.00

F. McElroy, Furniture store, 24x60, Front st - 1,600.00

O.K. Hall, hotel, 22x30, 2 story,  - 1,000.00

John McCloud, store, 22x30,  - 400.00

George Peckham, Ashland House,  - 1,800.00

Julius Austrain, warehouse, 42x70,  - 2,500.00

do dwelling, 20x30 2story, Front st - 800.00

S S Vaughn, " 22x36, stable  - 1,800.00

John Dore, blacksmith shop, Vaughn Av - 100.00

Two dwellings,  - 200.00

Total improvements Vaughn’s Division -  $104,000.00

City Improvements, not elsewhere given - $6,000.00
Bay City Division - 77,100.00
Ashland Division - 57,300.00
Vaughn’s Division - 104,00.00
Total am’t expended in improvements - $244,800.00

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!

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.

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, Wisconsin’s 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 people.

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.

Source: 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 o’clock, 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 bay."

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 Boyd’s 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 Whittlesey’s 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 Clay’s homestead.

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 Ashland’s 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.

"Vaughn’s 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 White’s 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 $244,800.

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 Postmaster’s 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 Templar’s 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 Mercury’s 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, Peterson’s Hotel, and White River House. Several private boarding-houses receive guests during the Summer season.

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, proprietor.

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 of locally.

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 Company’s 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 Kelley’s 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-year’s-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 Vaughn’s 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.


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