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Bayfield Facts

This page is about Bayfield, WI and the northern Wisconsin area, and links and other data in support of the above.


Historical information on Bayfield, and on the actual Bayfield Transfer Railway, is adapted from the booklet Brownstone and Bargeboard: A Guide to Bayfield's Historic Architecture by Gould and Wittman, COPYRIGHT 1980, Board of Regents, University of Wisconsin System, Sea Grant Institute. No infringement of copyright is intended. In case of copyright problems please contact BTR Webmaster

Bayfield, Wisconsin

Bayfield is located on the northern tip of Wisconsin, on the south shore of Lake Superior. Once a booming economic force, the town came within a hair's-breadth of becoming the major port on the west end of Superior, as brownstone, timber, and fish turned the young town into an economic force that could not be ignored.

Booms, however, often turn to busts, and so it was with Bayfield. Brownstone lost favor as a building material, clear-cutting of timber meant the sawmills lost their supply of timber, and runoff from the land meant the fish lost their habitait, and thus the fishermen lost their fish. In 1880 the prosperity of Bayfield looked limitless; but by 1910, brownstone had vanished as an industry, and the prosperity of Bayfield was on the wane.

This combination of circumstances lead to Bayfield's Queen Anne- style of architecture remaining intact long after its vogue, as the no-longer-prosperous town could not afford massive rebuilding. But Bayfield's natural harbor and beautiful location could not remain secret forever; today Bayfield is one of the Great Lakes' premiere sailboat havens, and supports a lively year-round tourist industry.

Bayfield, WI Links

Bayfield, WI Chamber of Commerce
Bayfield Home Page
Someone else who loves the town as much as I.
Old Rittenhouse Inn
Exquisite Queen Anne-style Victorian inn and gourmet restaurant, now with its own page. Go. Now.

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