When you think of history and museums, you may think of the East Coast or the first settlement in Virginia, but fascinating history can be found in the most unexpected places. Bayfield County is one of those places with over 20 recognized sites on the National Register of Historic Places. A collection of these Wisconsin historical sites can be found right here in Bayfield, including our Old Rittenhouse Inn, which was the first bed and breakfast in the state. Our charming property also features the historic Le Chateau built as a summer home in 1890 for general Allen C. Fuller. And we can’t think of a better way to experience the charming history of Bayfield than by joining us at Old Rittenhouse Inn.
Bayfield Historic Sites
Bayfield owes its early success to its location on Lake Superior and the surrounding wilderness. Lumbering, fishing, and brownstone industries flourished in the late 19th century creating prosperity and wealth for many. This time period resulted in building beautiful Queen Anne mansions from the local wood and stone. You can still see many of the old houses, buildings, and significant sites of our charming town today.
- Shaw Point Historic District
- Frank Boutin Jr. House (A part of Rittenhouse Inn- you can stay here!)
- Bayfield Carnegie Library
- Belanger Settlement
Bayfield History Museums
Learn about the fascinating history of Bayfield by visiting the museums in town. Bayfield’s location on Lake Superior has forged a long maritime history for the community. Learn about commercial fishing, lighthouse lore, shipwrecks, and the people who made the town what it is today at the Bayfield Maritime Museum. Step back in time and walk through the exhibits at the Bayfield Heritage Association. The exhibits include a Bayfield model railroad, old Bayfield city jail, Ray Cahill barbershop, and a replica of a traditional Anishinaabe canoe. You can also read information about the booming fishing and lumber industries here. Follow the links below to learn more information on hours, admission, and exhibits at these Bayfield museums:
Stay at a Wisconsin Historical Site
Continue your journey of Wisconsin historical sites by staying at our Old Rittenhouse Inn. Stay in a room in the historic Le Chateau mansion and continue your journey back in time. The tower room provides the best view of Lake Superior and Madeline Island through the turret windows. The two-room master suite is a beautiful room with stained glass windows and a relaxing fireplace. Start planning your Wisconsin vacation today and browse all of our accommodations here. No matter what room you choose, you will be surrounded by the charm and history of the past at Old Rittenhouse Inn.