Ashtabula/æʃtəˈbjuːlə/ash-tə-BEW-lə is a city in Ashtabula County, Ohio, United States, and the center of the Ashtabula Micropolitan Statistical Area (as defined by the United States Census Bureau in 2003). It is located at the mouth of the Ashtabula River on Lake Erie, one of the Great Lakes, across from the province of Ontario, Canada. The name Ashtabula is derived from ashtepihəle, which means 'always enough fish to be shared around' in the Lenape language.
The city became an important destination on the Underground Railroad in the middle 19th century, as refugee slaves could take ships to Canada and freedom. Even in the free state of Ohio, they were at risk of being captured by slavecatchers. Beginning in the late 19th century, the city became a major coal port on Lake Erie at the mouth of the Ashtabula River northeast of Cleveland. Coal and iron were shipped here, the latter from the Mesabi Range in Minnesota. The city attracted immigrants from Finland, Sweden and Italy in the industrial period. Ashtabula hosts an annual Blessing of the Fleet Celebration, usually in late May or early June. As part of the celebration, a religious procession and prayer service is held at Ashtabula Harbor. The city was the site of the FinnFestUSA in 2007, a celebration of Finnish Americans.
As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 19,124, a decrease of 1,838 (8.8%). from the 20,962 residents recorded in the 2000 census. It has lost population due to the decline in industrial jobs.