The rich history of the area is on display throughout the county. From the geological formation of Lake Superior to the first Native American settlements, through the discovery by French missionaries and fur traders to the lumbering, mining, and fishing industries, you’ll find a piece of history almost anywhere you look!
There are 22 sites in Bayfield County that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places in America, including seven shipwrecks. Numerous local museums and historical societies serve as stewards to the natural, cultural, and architectural history that is a permanent part of the ebb and flow of life. Come see, learn, and experience the past through your own eyes.
View an interactive map of historical attractions in Bayfield County or view them as a list in our directory.
- Bayfield County Historical Society -
The Bayfield County Historical Society (BCHS) is an affiliate of the Wisconsin Historical Society. There are 10 Chapters that make up the umbrella organization of the BCHS: Barnes Area Historical Association, Cable/Namakagon Historical Society, Cornucopia Historic Green Shed Museum, Drummond Historical Society, Eileen Area Historical Society, Mason Area Historical Society, Oulu Historical Society, Port Wing Historical Soc., Washburn Area Historical Society, and Western Bayfield County Historical Society
- Washburn Legacy Consortium - The Washburn Legacy Consortium is comprised of five local organizations that have the history and cultural heritage of Washburn at the heart of their missions. They are the Washburn Area Historical Society, The Washburn Historic Preservation Commission, the Washburn Cultural Center, the Washburn Heritage Association, and the Washburn Historic Civic Center Foundation.
The purpose of the consortium is to bring these organizations together to facilitate communication, collaboration, and cooperation among them, in order to help each group meet their needs and to work toward achieving common goals.
At this time, the consortium has identified three goals: to relate our past to our identity as a community, to build communications among our organizations and with the public, and to address challenges to our organizations’ sustainability and vigor.
- Bayfield Heritage Association - The Bayfield Heritage Association, an affiliate of the Wisconsin Historical Society, is a nonprofit dedicated to sharing the history and culture of the Bayfield area through museum exhibits, educational programs, and archival research.