The sidewheel paddle steamer City of Ashland
was built in 1883 for the Superior Lumber Company out of Ashland, Wisconsin. The City of Ashland
was primarily used for timber rafting. Harvested logs from the Bad River area would be picked up and towed in rafts to Ashland area sawmills.
Monday, August 8, 1887. A windy day, the City of Ashland
was towing a raft of logs from the Bad River area to the sawmill in Ashland, Wisconsin. When the vessel reached within three miles northeast of the city of Washburn a fire was discovered at the rear of the pilothouse. The fire rapidly spread engulfing most of the vessel allowing the crew only enough time to save themselves by jumping into Lake Superior. The tugs Cyclone
arrived within a half hour to rescue four of the five crewmen. The City of Ashland
eventually burned to the waterline, consuming nearly everything and sunk. The log raft was salvaged. The loss amounted to $8,000 with only $2,500 insured.
There is no indication of any attempt at salvaging the City of Ashland
and therefore her engine and walking beam may still be discovered.