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.

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Washburn, WI

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Tuesday 35°F / 54°F Sunny
Wednesday 44°F / 57°F Sunny
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This Day in Wisconsin History

  • October 20, 1962 - Vocational Rehabilitation Center for the Deaf Dedicated
    On this date dedication ceremonies were held for the Vocational Rehabilitation Center for the Deaf in Delavan. The facility continues to provide services for eligible adult deaf persons.
  • October 20, 1863 - (Civil War) Fairchild Commissioned Brigadier General
    General Lucius Fairchild was promoted to brigadier general in honor of his service during the war. Two weeks later Fairchild resigned to become Wisconsin's Secretary of State. He would later become the state's governor.
  • October 20, 1856 - Frederick Douglass Speaks in Beaver Dam
    On this date arrived in and spoke about the brutality and immorality of slavery. His speech was also intended to generate support for the in Dodge Co. and Wisconsin. A former runaway slave and leading orator and author of the abolitionist movement, Douglass is regarded as one of the most influential Americans of the 19th century. [Source: Wisconsin Local History Network]
  • October 20, 1949 - Really Huge Fish Caught
    On this date a record-breaking was caught on the Chippewa Flowage near Hayward. The fish weighed 69 pounds, 11 ounces. The muskie became the official state fish of Wisconsin in 1955. [Source: Note: Linked picture is not the record breaking fish]
  • October 20, 1982 - Brewers in the World Series
    On this date the Milwaukee Brewers played game seven against the St. Louis Cardinals in the "Suds Series" to be crowned Major League Baseball World Champions. The Cardinals won the series 4 games to 3 to be named World Champs. [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