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ASHLAND - A new group is trying to save one of the ten most endangered structures in Wisconsin.They're trying to stop the demolition process of Ashland’s historic ore dock.
"When it's gone it's gone forever," Save Our Ore Dock Director Jeff Peters said.
Right on the lakefront of Ashland sits the local icon built in 1915 to transfer iron ore.
"In its heyday it was just a remarkable port," said Peters.
Now crews are busy demolishing the 1,800 ft. dock.
Community members say as the concrete steel is being torn down so are memories and the city's history.
"It's just history that we're gonna lose forever if it's taken down," said Peters.
The Save Our Ore Dock group recently formed with a mission to stop the demolition process and save a portion of the structure.
"We're hoping we can create a win win situation," said Peters.
The group would like to turn it into an interpretive maritime facility that pays homage to the industries that helped create the port of Ashland.
"I think it would both stir the economy in Ashland and make it a true destination for the people coming through Ashland," said Peters.
Officials say the ore dock is being torn down because its crumbling and eroded structure makes it a liability and a risk.
"It has been falling apart,” Ashland City Councilor Richard Ketring said. “There have been chunks of it in the recent years that have fallen off."
The city is also seeking a way to preserve the dock.
They're proposing turning the structure's base into a more than $7 million fishing pier.
"It's going to enhance the community, it's gonna add economic value," said Ketring.
As for now, the superstructure is being torn down and the community can only hope the base will forever remain.
The structure is also being coined as the world’s largest ore dock.
The superstructure of the ore dock will take at least another year to demolish.