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

  • February 5, 1865 - (Civil War) Second Day of the Battle of Hatcher's Run, Virginia
    This was second day of the Battle of Hatcher's Run during the Siege of Petersburg, Virginia. The 5th, 6th, 7th, and 36th Wisconsin Infantry regiments participated in this battle, which extended Union trenches three miles further toward the west side of Petersburg.
  • February 5, 1892 - William Parry Murphy Born
    On this date William Parry Murphy was born in Stoughton, Wisconsin. After teaching in public schools and attending Harvard Medical, Parry was appointed Assistant in Medicine at Harvard in 1924, serving as an instructor from 1928 until 1935. In 1923, Murphy subsequently engaged in research on Diabetes Mellitus as well as diseases of the blood. Known for his work on Pernicious and other forms of anaemia, Murphy was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1934. William Parry Murphy died in 1987. [Source: Nobelprize.org]
  • February 5, 1967 - Stokely Carmichael Speaks at Whitewater
    On this date nationally known activist Stokely Carmichael spoke at UW-Whitewater as part of a forum series entitled "Black Power and the Civil Rights Movement." The chairman of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee at Whitewater motivated students in attendance, stating that blacks must reclaim their identity and history, and organize to control local political offices, especially in large cities. [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