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Founding of Bayfield PlaqueWELCOME!

The Bayfield Historical Society in the Village of Bayfield, Ontario, is dedicated to recording and preserving our rich historical legacy for future generations. The Historical Society discovers, collects, classifies, publishes and presents materials concerning the history of Bayfield and its people.



In order to promote the education of Bayfield area residents of all ages, the Society will discover, collect, classify and preserve any material concerning the history of the area and its people. To hold open meetings for the presentation of papers and discussions. To publish local historical material.



The Society holds regular monthly meetings, featuring interesting speakers and topics, on the fourth Monday of each month at 7:30PM (February to November) at the Lion's Community Building at 6 Municipal Road in Bayfield.

To learn about details of upcoming meetings and presentations, click the link MEETINGS/EVENTS. You can also consult the Bayfield Breeze, the village’s e-newspaper published every Wednesday, at its website Bayfield Breeze.

Email reminders are sent to members to announce dates and details prior to each monthly meeting. Please provide (or update) your email address when registering membership to receive meeting reminders.



Our annual spring Collectors' shows and exhibitions feature an assortment of collections from around South Western Ontario. The collectors are eager to explain the history of their objects and why they are passionate about their collections. The show has become known as the largest and best-attended Collectors’ exhibition in South Western Ontario.

In addition to the Collectors’ displays and the live auction, there will be a silent auction with over 100 items donated by local merchants and friends of the BHS. The silent auction closes at 4:00 pm on the Sunday.

Tim Saunders, a local antiques dealer and collector, offers his ever-popular Antiques Appraisal Service (on the Sunday only) to assess the provenance and value of people’s treasures.

A number of sponsors make this annual event a success by donations to help to defray the costs of staging this popular event. The Society extends heart-felt thanks to its many donors. 

For further info on the event, please contact Phil Gemeinhardt 519-482-9230 or Binnie Sturgeon 519-565-2376. You may also check the MEETINGS/EVENTS section or contact with questions.



During July and August on each Saturday at 1:00 pm members of the Bayfield Historical Society lead informative and leisurely walking tours through the village's Heritage district. Learn about the history of the area, the ghosts, the fires and the fascinating characters who helped make the village the wonderful place it is today.

The $10 fee for the walking tour is used to support our Archives.

For your convenience, guided walk tours can also be arranged by appointment for small groups or bus tours.

Please call 519-440-6206 or e-mail to attend or to reserve a tour, or to check if a tour is weather-affected.

Self-guided Walk Tour booklets are also available at the Archives and some local outlets for $5.00.



The Archives Room, established in 1977 is housed in a historic clapboard building that was built in 1893. It originally served as a furniture/undertaker’s business. In 1929, it operated as a grocery store and in the 1940’s, local fishermen used it to build, repair and store their nets.


Bayfield ArchivesBayfield ArchivesBayfield ArchivesBayfield Archives


In 1964, Dorothy and Harold Ormand purchased and donated the building for the community. It was moved to its present location at 20 Main Street North in Bayfield in 1977. It is open May to November, Wednesday and Saturdays from: 1:00-4:00 pm.


Bayfield ArchivesBayfield ArchivesBayfield Archives


In 2013, the Bayfield Branch of the Huron County Public Library was relocated to a new adjacent and larger municipal building that also now accommodates public washrooms and a post box depot.


Bayfield ArchivesBayfield Archives


The Archival collections and records of the Society were moved into the space vacated to provide expanded facilities for cataloguing and research by villagers, visitors and the public for people and places in Bayfield and the surrounding area.  The holdings include photos, postcards, genealogy records, cemetery records, maps and assessment rolls, in addition to family collections and personal and business records donated over time.

The former Archives area in the 1893 historic building is being converted into a Heritage Centre featuring audio-visual displays of well-known former Bayfield personalities and events. The conversion is planned to be in place by May, 2015.

The Heritage Centre is open to the public during the summer visitor season and at other times, by chance or appointment. Contact us for a tour or visit.



The Bayfield Historical Society is registered as an Ontario not-for-profit corporation with charitable status, affiliated with the Ontario Historical Society and operated by a volunteer board. The Society issues tax receipts in line with Canadian taxation guidelines for donations, gifts and bequests of money, material assets and property according to the conditions made by the donor. You can help support the activities of the Society with your generous donations.



The Society has a long-standing project to restore the Helen McLeod II, the last fishing vessel powered by sail on Lake Huron.  It was built in the Bayfield harbour.

The story of its planned restoration can be seen HERE...


Helen MacLeod II Work CrewHelen MacLeod II Fishing BoatHelen Macleod II Phil Gemeinhardt Bill Rowat