“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.
Photographed 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
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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 Wisconsin Historical Society, University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Settlements & SettlersWaterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the Wisconsin’s Maritime Trails series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1856.
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. Marker is located at the entrance to the marina. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Bayfield WI 54814, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 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. ¼ mile away); Cultural Fire Returns to Stockton Island (approx. 0.3 miles away); Mooningwaanikaaning
Bayfield Historic Waterfront Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Paul Fehrenbach, June 17, 2012
2. Bayfield Historic Waterfront Marker
looking east out toward the marina.
(approx. 2½ miles away); Early Vessels (approx. 2.9 miles away); La Pointe Indian Cemetery (approx. 3.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Bayfield.
Also see . . .  Wisconsin's Maritime Trails. Wisconsin Historical Society (Submitted on July 26, 2012, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia.) 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on July 25, 2012, by Paul Fehrenbach of Germantown, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 777 times since then and 61 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on July 25, 2012, by Paul Fehrenbach of Germantown, Wisconsin. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.

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Dec. 1, 2023