“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Bayfield in Bayfield County, Wisconsin — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)

Bayfield Historic Waterfront

Eastern Waterfront / Ferry Dock


—Wisconsin's Maritime Trails —

Bayfield Historic Waterfront Marker image. Click for full size.
By Paul Fehrenbach, June 17, 2012
1. Bayfield Historic Waterfront Marker
Inscription. Bayfield’s history has been powerfully shaped by its location. Situated on the shores of a deep, natural harbor, the city is sheltered from Lake Superior’s notorious storms by the outlying Apostle Islands. Lighthouses, shipwrecks, and a historic waterfront still evoke the city’s rich maritime past.

Bayfield’s fresh air and spectacular setting have always attracted tourists. The city’s eastern waterfront and ferry dock have traditionally been a point of departure for tourists and summer residents seeking recreation in the Apostle Islands. Ferries have transported people and freight between Bayfield and La Pointe (on Madeline Island) since shortly after Bayfield’s founding in 1856. This tradition began with La Pointe’s enterprising Morrin brothers. The ferry was a bateau—a large, flat-bottomed rowboat.

“Chequamegon Bay, Bayfield harbor and the Apostle Islands are undoubtedly the most beautiful summer retreats in the United States.” -Ashland Daily Press, Annual Edition, 1893

Eventually, hotels were built near the docks to accommodate the influx of summer visitors. Some of those first hotels still survive. Gruenke’s First Street Inn, just a short walk downtown from here, has been accommodating guests for over 140 years. It was originally named La Bonte House.
Erected by
Bayfield Historic Waterfront Marker image. Click for full size.
By Paul Fehrenbach, June 17, 2012
2. Bayfield Historic Waterfront Marker
looking east out toward the marina.
Wisconsin Historical Society, University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Wisconsin’s Maritime Trails marker series.
Location. 46° 48.741′ N, 90° 48.799′ W. Marker is in Bayfield, Wisconsin, in Bayfield County. Marker is at the intersection of Washington Avenue and North Front Street, on the left when traveling east on Washington Avenue. Click for map. Marker is located at the entrance to the marina. Marker is in this post office area: Bayfield WI 54814, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 10 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Booth Cooperage (within shouting distance of this marker); Memorial to Commercial Fishermen of Bayfield (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Schooner Pretoria (approx. ¼ mile away); A Turning Point in Place and Time (approx. 0.3 miles away); Madeline Island (approx. 2.5 miles away); Early Vessels (approx. 2.9 miles away); a different marker also named Madeline Island (approx. 6.9 miles away); Hokenson Brothers Fishery (approx. 10 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Bayfield.
Also see . . .  Wisconsin's Maritime Trails. Wisconsin Historical Society (Submitted on July 26, 2012, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.) 
Categories. Settlements & SettlersWaterways & Vessels
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Paul Fehrenbach of Germantown, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 447 times since then and 88 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Paul Fehrenbach of Germantown, Wisconsin. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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