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Washburn, Wisconsin facts for kids

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Washburn, Wisconsin
The main street (Bayfield Street / WIS 13) in downtown Washburn
The main street (Bayfield Street / WIS 13) in downtown Washburn
Location of Washburn in Bayfield County, Wisconsin.
Location of Washburn in Bayfield County, Wisconsin.
Country  United States
State  Wisconsin
County Bayfield
 • Type Mayor–council
 • Total 3.92 sq mi (10.14 km2)
 • Land 3.91 sq mi (10.13 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.01 km2)
692 ft (211 m)
 • Total 2,117
 • Estimate 
 • Density 520.32/sq mi (200.91/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP Code
Area code(s) 715 & 534
FIPS code 55-83525
GNIS feature ID 1576230

Washburn is a city in Bayfield County, in the U.S. state of Wisconsin. The population was 2,117 at the 2010 census. The city is just east of and adjacent to the Town of Washburn. It is in northern Wisconsin, on the shore of Lake Superior's Chequamegon Bay.

Wisconsin Highway 13 and County Highway C are the main routes in the community.


Founded in 1883, the city was named for Cadwallader C. Washburn, Republican governor of Wisconsin from 1872 until 1874.


Washburn is located at 46°40′26″N 90°53′51″W / 46.67389°N 90.89750°W / 46.67389; -90.89750 (46.673989, -90.897674).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.17 square miles (15.98 km2), of which, 3.90 square miles (10.10 km2) is land and 2.27 square miles (5.88 km2) is water.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1890 3,039
1910 3,830
1920 3,707 −3.2%
1930 2,238 −39.6%
1940 2,363 5.6%
1950 2,070 −12.4%
1960 1,896 −8.4%
1970 1,957 3.2%
1980 2,080 6.3%
1990 2,285 9.9%
2000 2,280 −0.2%
2010 2,117 −7.1%
2019 (est.) 2,036 −3.8%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 2,117 people, 934 households, and 531 families living in the city. The population density was 542.8 inhabitants per square mile (209.6/km2). There were 1,070 housing units at an average density of 274.4 per square mile (105.9/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 88.4% White, 0.8% African American, 5.9% Native American, 0.3% Asian, 0.6% from other races, and 4.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.6% of the population.

There were 934 households, of which 26.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.5% were married couples living together, 9.9% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.5% had a male householder with no wife present, and 43.1% were non-families. 38.3% of all households were made up of individuals, and 16.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.15 and the average family size was 2.82.

The median age in the city was 45.9 years. 21.6% of residents were under the age of 18; 6.3% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 21.1% were from 25 to 44; 32.2% were from 45 to 64; and 18.8% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.7% male and 51.3% female.


Initially, the city's economy was based on lumbering, with sawmills lining the busy waterfront. It was also a popular summer resort, being especially well known for its boating and fishing. In 1905, the DuPont company opened an explosives plant just outside town, providing an important source of employment as timber resources were growing scarce. The closing of the DuPont plant in 1971 was a severe blow to the local economy.

Currently, the city's economy focuses on the tourist industry and its position as county seat.


Bus service is provided by Bay Area Rural Transit.

Notable people

  • Tom Blake, surfer and inventor
  • Ted Buffalo, NFL player
  • Walter A. Duffy, Wisconsin State Representative
  • Morgan Hamm, United States gymnast
  • Paul Hamm, United States gymnast
  • Ernest J. Korpela, Wisconsin State Representative
  • Arthur William McLeod, Wisconsin State Representative
  • Robert A. Nixon, Wisconsin State Representative
  • Hubert H. Peavey, U.S. Representative
  • Willard Ryan, Green Bay Packers football coach
  • Wayne Simoneau, Minnesota State Representative
  • Vic C. Wallin, Wisconsin State Representative
  • Charles Watson, Wisconsin State Representative

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