The Bayfield County Historical Society (BCHS) is an affiliate of the Wisconsin Historical Society. There are 11 Chapters that make up the umbrella organization of the BCHS. The Chapters are Barnes Area Historical Assn., Bayfield Heritage Assn, Cable/Namakagon Historical Soc., Cornucopia Historic Green Shed Museum, Drummond Historical Soc., Eileen Area Historical Soc., Mason Area Historical Soc., Oulu Historical Soc., Port Wing Historical Soc., Washburn Area Historical Soc., and Western Bayfield County Historical Soc.  Chapter memberships include membership in the Bayfield County Historical Society and receipt of the organization’s newsletter, “Historical Happenings.”  

 A book of the first 10 years of our "Historical Happenings" newsletters is now available. This book is a compilation of published newsletters from 1980 through 1989.  It includes many stories, maps, and photos that capture the local history of Bayfield County, Wisconsin.

To order a book, please print and use the order form.

This Day in Wisconsin History

  • March 3, 1823 - Henry Harnden Born
    A soldier and Wisconsin politician, Henry Harnden moved to Wisconsin in 1852 and settled first near Sullivan in Jefferson County, and later in Ripon. In 1861, he enlisted in the 1st Wisconsin Cavalry, serving as captain from 1862 to 1864, major from 1864 to 1865, and lieutenant colonel in 1865. In 1865 he was promoted to full colonel and shortly thereafter, to brigadier general. He took part in several major Civil War battles. Most notably, he led the regiment that at Irwinsville, Georgia in 1865. After the war, he returned to Wisconsin and resided in Madison. He served one term in the state assembly and was also a financial agent for the soldiers' orphans' home in Madison. He retired in 1883 and served as commander of the Wisconsin GAR until his death in 1900. [Source: , SHSW 1960, pg. 158]
  • March 3, 1863 - (Civil War) Battle of Thompson's Station, Tennessee
    The 22nd Wisconsin Infantry fought in the Battle of Thompson's Station, also known as the Battle of Spring Hill, approximately 30 miles south of Nashville, Tennessee.



Originally named La Pointe County in 1848, Bayfield County was renamed on April 12, 1866 in honor of Henry Wolsey Bayfield, a British Rear Admiral in the Royal Navy who surveyed Lake Superior in 1823-24.


Bayfield County Historical Society - PO Box 581 - Washburn, WI 54891