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

  • December 21, 1862 - (Civil War) The17th Wisconsin Infantry protects supplies in Tennessee
    The 17th Wisconsin Infantry was ordered to protect Grand Junction, Tennessee, after the loss of Holly Springs, Mississippi.
  • December 21, 1862 - Wisconsin Governor Walter Goodland Born
    On this date was born. Goodland had a long and successfull career editing and publishing various newspapers in Michigan and Wisconsin, including the . Newspaper reporters dubbed him "Woof-Woof" due to his deep, rumbling voice. Twice widowed, Goodland eventually married his secretary, Madge Roche Risney Goodland (also widowed). After retiring from the newspaper business, Goodland decided to run for lieutenant governor under Progressive . Loomis died before inauguration, giving the office to Goodland. Goodland, a Republican, proceeded to win the governorship in 1944 and 1946. He died in the old executive residence on March 12, 1947 at the age of 84, being the oldest governor in office in any state. [Source: by Nancy G. Williams]



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