It was in the year 1825 that Nathan Bugbee came to Ashtabula harbor from the state of New York. He traveled through the unbroken wilderness and reached Ashtabula in good spirits, determined to make the most of his new home in what was then considered the “far, wild west”.
He built his cabin on the beach just west of the present river channel The river at that time, however, was not a river; it was a little ditch, which Bugbee kept clean with his hoe. The little stream flowed to the lake between old Fort Hill on the west and Woodland park hill on the east.One day, after the children had crossed the brook to the east bank on their way to school, a heavy rain set in, a flood developed and the little stream overflowed its banks. Mr. Bugbee was clearing a piece of land in the vicinity of Walnut and Lake street during the day, and he reached home late in the afternoon to discover that the stream had overflowed and his children were prevented from reaching home. The resourcefulness of the Ashtabula pioneers, so often called into use, was displayed by the father on this occasion, for he lost no time in building a raft of logs, on which he ferried his children to the west bank of the stream in safety. That self-same flood, it is said was the beginning of the enlargement of the stream.
Mr. Bugbee soon after moved his cabin to a location on what is now Walnut street.
Note: This article was printed in the Ashtabula Star Beacon in 1919 under Little Stories of Ashtabula by Glenn H. Leggett