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

  • August 30, 1936 - Janette Serrec Appears in Janesville
    On this date nationally known lecturer Janette Serrec started a four-day "charm school" at Janesville's Apollo Theater. The event was sponsored by the Janesville Gazette and WCLO radio station. The presentation was augmented by Serrec's "Charm Chat," broadcast on WCLO and hosted by the radio station's "stylist" Villette Du Cray. In her presentation, Serrec urged women to "dare to be your age. No woman need ever be ugly, withered and old. Age should be only a ripening, not a withering of the beauty of a woman." [Source: ]
  • August 30, 1862 - (Civil War) Wisconsin troops rest at the White House lawn
    The 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th and 7th Wisconsin Infantry regiments fought in the Second Battle of Bull Run. By the end of this third day, more than 18,000 soldiers had been killed or wounded and Union forces had been pushed back to Washington, D.C. When the Wisconsin regiments arrived in Washington, they rested on the White House lawn. According to historian Frank Klement, "President Lincoln came out with a pail of water in one hand and a dipper in the other. He moved among the men, offering water to the tired and thirsty. Some Wisconsin soldiers drank from the common dipper and thanked the President for his kindness."
  • August 30, 1908 - Fred MacMurray Born
    On this date stage, screen, and television actor Fred MacMurray was born in Kankakee, Illinois. MacMurray was raised in Madison and Beaver Dam. Originally a traveling-band saxophonist, MacMurray began work in the silent films of the late 1920s. He went on to star in such notable films as (1944), (1947), (1954), (1959), and (1961). He also starred in the long-running television series from 1960 to 1972. Fred MacMurray died on November 5, 1991. [Source: ]
  • August 30, 1939 - Wisconsin First Lady Elaine Schreiber Born
    On this date the wife of Wisconsin Governor Martin Schreiber, Elaine Ruth Thaney Schreiber, was born. She earned a degree in education from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, as well as a graduate degree in early childhood education. The couple was married in Milwaukee in 1961, having met in high school. The Schreibers lived in the mansion for only a year and a half after Governor Lucey resigned to be the ambassador to Mexico. Elaine Schreiber spent much of her life raising her children, writing newpaper articles, and teaching kindergarten. [Source: by Nancy G. Williams, p.228-232]



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