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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Sunday 48°F / 60°F Mostly sunny
Monday 42°F / 60°F PM showers
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This Day in Wisconsin History

  • October 25, 1836 - Belmont-Wisconsin Territory 1836 Established
    On this date the convened in Belmont, Wisconsin. During this first session, forty-two laws were put in the statute books. At this time, the Territory of Wisconsin included all of present-day Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, and part of the two Dakotas.
  • October 25, 1864 - (Civil War) 10th Wisconsin Infantry Musters Out
    The 10th Wisconsin Infantry mustered out after participating in the battles of Perryville, the Atlanta Campaign, Chickamauga, the siege of Chattanooga, and Kenesaw Mountain. It had lost 244 men during service. Five officers and 91 enlisted men were killed. One officer and 147 enlisted men died from disease.
  • October 25, 1909 - Explosion at Pabst Brewing Company
    On this date a major boiler house explosion devastated three stories at Pabst Brewing Company early in the morning. The damage was estimated at about $250,000, one worker was killed and another was injured. Pabst Brewing Company filed a claim with its insurer, the Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company, to recover damages from the explosion. [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