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Bayfield, Wisconsin facts for kids

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Bayfield from the harbor
Bayfield from the harbor
Location of Bayfield in Bayfield County, Wisconsin.
Location of Bayfield in Bayfield County, Wisconsin.
Bayfield is located in Wisconsin
Location in Wisconsin
Country United States
State Wisconsin
County Bayfield
 • Total 0.86 sq mi (2.23 km2)
 • Land 0.86 sq mi (2.23 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
830 ft (253 m)
 • Total 487
 • Estimate 
 • Density 547.04/sq mi (211.11/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP codes
Area codes 715 and 534
FIPS code 55-05350
GNIS feature ID 1582764

Bayfield is a city in Bayfield County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 487 at the 2010 census. This makes it the city with the smallest population in Wisconsin. In fact, for a new city to be incorporated today, state regulations require a population of at least 1,000 residents, so it would have to be incorporated as a village instead.

Wisconsin Highway 13 serves as a main route in the community. It is a former county seat, lumbering town, and commercial fishing community, which today is a tourist and resort destination. There are many restaurants, hotels, bed & breakfast establishments, specialty shops, and marine services. The local Chamber of Commerce refers to Bayfield as the "Gateway to the Apostle Islands".


Bayfield was named in 1856. A post office has been in operation at Bayfield since 1856.


Bayfield is located at 46°48.7′N 90°49.2′W / 46.8117°N 90.8200°W / 46.8117; -90.8200 (46.8115, -90.8203).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.87 square miles (2.25 km2), of which, 0.86 square miles (2.23 km2) is land and 0.01 square miles (0.03 km2) is water.

Bayfield is considered the main gateway to the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, a world-famous freshwater sailing, boating and kayaking destination on Lake Superior. Madeline Island, the largest of the Apostle Islands and the only one with private residences, is another popular destination near Bayfield. The ferry to Madeline Island links Bayfield with La Pointe, Wisconsin, a town on the island.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 495
1890 1,373 177.4%
1900 1,689 23.0%
1920 1,441
1930 1,195 −17.1%
1940 1,212 1.4%
1950 1,153 −4.9%
1960 969 −16.0%
1970 874 −9.8%
1980 778 −11.0%
1990 686 −11.8%
2000 611 −10.9%
2010 487 −20.3%
2019 (est.) 471 −3.3%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

At the 2010 census there were 487 people in 261 households, including 130 families, in the city. The population density was 566.3 inhabitants per square mile (218.6/km2). There were 482 housing units at an average density of 560.5 per square mile (216.4/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 77.8% White, 0.2% African American, 14.8% Native American, 1.0% Asian, and 6.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.8%.

Of the 261 households, 16.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.5% were married couples living together, 8.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 1.5% had a male householder with no wife present, and 50.2% were non-families. 44.1% of households were one person and 18.7% were one person aged 65 or older. The average household size was 1.87 and the average family size was 2.58.

The median age was 53.2 years. 15.4% of residents were under the age of 18; 3.2% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 18.6% were from 25 to 44; 36% were from 45 to 64; 26.9% were 65 or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.9% male and 51.1% female.

Arts and culture

Bayfield Maritime Museum
Bayfield Maritime Museum

The city of Bayfield is known in the Anishinaabe language as Oshki-oodena ("New-town"), opposed to Superior, Wisconsin, which is known as Gete-oodena ("Old-town"), in reference to the Ojibwa migration.

The Bayfield Maritime Museum and Bayfield Heritage Museum are the city’s two museums. There are several art galleries. Nearby is the 950 seat all-canvas tent theater known as Big Top Chautauqua which during its summer season has hosted such entertainers as Willie Nelson and Lyle Lovett.

Bayfield’s annual Apple Fest draws about 60,000 visitors during the first weekend in October. Popular summertime events include Bayfield Race Week regatta, held during the week of the 4th of July and the Festival of Arts and Gallery Tour, which takes place the third weekend of July. It features artists from across the midwest, along with tours and demos at a diverse array of local galleries. In wintertime, the Apostle Islands Sled Dog Race is the largest sled dog race in the midwest with between 50 and 75 teams competing annually. It takes place the first weekend of February.



Bus service to the community is provided by Bay Area Rural Transit.

Notable people

  • Laurie E. Carlson, Wisconsin State Representative, 1937–42, born in Bayfield
  • Norris J. Nelson, Los Angeles City Council member, 1939–43, born in Bayfield
  • Nathan Van Cleave, Composer for Television, including "The Twilight Zone," born in Bayfield
  • Lou Alta Melton (1895 – 1974), an American civil engineer and bridge engineer

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Bayfield (Wisconsin) para niños

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