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

  • May 5, 1886 - Bay View Massacre
    On this date the in Bay View was the scene of a major labor disturbance. Nearly 1,500 striking workers from around Milwaukee marched on the mill, the last industrial plant still open after five days of marches and strikes in support of an eight-hour work day. When the crowd of demonstrators who had sought to call out workers still inside the huge Bay View factory was attacked by troops, seven unarmed people were killed and several more wounded. [Source: edited by Sarah Davis McBride]
  • May 5, 1862 - (Civil War) Battle of Williamsburg, Virginia
    The Battle of Williamsburg was a key engagement in the Peninsular Campaign that began on March 17, 1862. The 5th Wisconsin Infantry and Company G of the 1st U.S. Sharpshooters participated in this battle. Outnumbered Confederate forces held off the Union advance long enough for the bulk of the Confederate army to continue its withdrawal toward the capital at Richmond.
  • May 5, 1869 - Editor Bernhard Domschke Dies
    On this day Bernhard Domschke, Civil War veteran, newspaperman and prominent Milwaukee citizen, died. Domschke was born in Saxony and educated in Dresden and Leipzig, Germany. As a young man, he immigrated to the U.S., and edited the until his entire staff closed down the paper in 1862 and enlisted in the Union army. Domschke was appointed 1st Lieutenant of Company F. in 1863. Together with Major Wallber and 46 soldiers, he was taken prisoner at Gettysburg and marched to Libby Prison in Richmond. After his release, Domschke became editor of the , a position he held until his death from illnesses contracted in prison. He also wrote a memoir of his experiences as a Confederate prisoner.[Source: ]
  • May 5, 1942 - Actor Marc Alaimo Born
    On this date actor Marc Alaimo was born in Milwaukee. He has appeared in more than 100 TV episodes, including numerous episodes of and He has also appeared in more than 30 films, including and. [Source: ].



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