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The Bayfield Historical Society in the Village of Bayfield, Ontario, is dedicated to recording and preserving our rich historical legacy for future generations. We are a registered non-profit organization affiliated with the Ontario Historical Society and incorporated in December 11, 1976. The Historical Society discovers, collects, classifies, publishes and presents materials concerning the history of Bayfield and its people.




The Bayfield Historical Society (BHS) will be holding a virtual Annual General Meeting (AGM) over ZOOM on June 28.

"Unfortunately, no banquet this year, but we do have a special guest speaker," said BHS President Ruth Gibson. "Local historian Colleen Maguire, who was instrumental in establishing the Reuben R. Sallows Gallery in Goderich in 2001 will speak about his life and legacy."

Colleen Maguire

Maguire received her diploma in Applied Arts Photography from Fanshawe College in 1983 and owned a photography studio in Goderich. She also worked as a Medical Radiation Technologist at the Alexandra Marine and General Hospital in Goderich for 39 years. During her time there she was the Diagnostic Imaging Manager and was the team leader for the purchase of the CT scanner, Digital Mammography and the implementation of the digital imaging system.

"As secretary of the Remembrance Committee on the Great Lakes Storm of 1913, she was a recipient of the Governor General's History Award for Community Programming. In 2018, she was awarded the Huron Arts and Heritage Network's Heritage Award to an Individual," said Gibson. "Thus, she has researched the life of Reuben Sallows from the perspective of both a photographer and historian."

Maguire is also an antique camera collector and has curated a vintage camera exhibit for the Reuben R. Sallows Gallery. Colleen Maguire (Submitted left photo)Cradling Wheat 1913 Reuben R. Sallows



Reuben R. Sallows was born on a farm near Goderich in 1855. Sallows was an adopter of the pictorialism movement in Canada. His photography started as portraiture and progressed to farmland, landscapes and expansive wilderness. He developed a reputation of being a "rogue photographer", travelling across Canada by canoe and train with a camera on his back between 1881 to 1937. He became known internationally.Cradling Wheat 1913 (Photo right by Reuben Sallows)




Today his art is preserved in the Archives of Ontario; the Library and Archives, Canada; the Universities of Toronto and Western Ontario, Glenbrow Museum, Calgary; and the Reuben R. Sallows Gallery, Goderich.Maitland River Wolf Shot 1860 (Photo left by Reuben Sallows)


Anyone who is not on the email list of the BHS is invited to please email to receive a link to this virtual AGM. The meeting will commence at 2 p.m. on June 28.




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.


NEW SERVICEFounding of Bayfield Plaque

Genealogists have a number of resources from which to draw. We have original archive collections on site which can be viewed by special appointment by emailing in advance.

We are also offering to research your family tree through Federal Census records, Birth and Death Certificates, Marriage Licenses, extensive newspaper collections, Immigration, and Cemetery records. If you supply us with your grandparents' birth and death dates, as well as your parents, we will create a personalized family tree for you. The cost for an enlarged tree with children/siblings $100. A pedigree tree with just parents $50. Proof is kept with original copies of Marriage Licenses, Census reports, Military Service, and other records. Please contact us for more details. Attn: Ruth Gibson



Our Monthly General Meeting & Speakers' Series for 2019:
February 25, March 25, April 29, May 27, June 24, September 30, October 28, and November 25.
Held at the Lions Club Hall, 6 Municipal Rd, Bayfield at 7:30 pm

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.



Self-Guided Walking Tour booklets are available at the Archives & Heritage Centre for $5.00.

You may also download the Driftscape APP (available for both Apple IOS, and Google Android) for a walking tour of Bayfield Main Street. 



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.


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 has been converted into a Heritage Centre which was officially opened on May 18, 2015. The Heritage Centre features artefacts and short videos that showcase Bayfield's history.

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.