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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.

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.


Reuben Sallows, Renowned Photographer of Huron County, 1870 to 1937

The rural photographs of Reuben Sallows were used to entice settlers to come to Canada. This remarkable photographer from Goderich, Ontario produced thousands of photographs recording landscapes and daily life of Canadians, many in Huron County, in the latter part of the 19th Century and the early part of the 20th. He brought everyday existence to life and has provided us with extraordinary insights into what it was like to live in harsh conditions surviving winters in this region, much like the one we have just endured, with far fewer comforts. He also captured natural scenes and human interest pictures of folks at home, at work and at play, in the fields and on the beach.

There are also wonderful pictures of children. His body of work can be found in the National Archives of Canada, at Guelph University and, most importantly, in the Reuben R. Sallows Gallery in the Goderich Public Library.

The Bayfield Historical Society will offer a presentation of Reuben Sallow’s work by two members of the Gallery staff, Colleen Maguire and Charlene Blondy on Monday, March 24 at 7:30 pm in the Bayfield Lions’ Building. Don’t miss this fascinating glimpse into history.

2014 memberships are now available for purchase for $20.00. Please contact Bud or Pat Langley at 519-565-2894 or


A live auction of local food products will be a big draw for the 14th annual BHS Collector Show and Exhibition to be held on the weekend of April 12th and 13th. The event will be held at the Bayfield Community Centre from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.

The live auction will immediately follow the Opening Ceremony at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday and MP Ben Lobb will again serve as auctioneer.

The exhibition will 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 p.m. on the Sunday.

Tim Saunders, local antiques expert, will again this year offer his ever-popular Antiques Appraisal Service (on the Sunday only) to assess the provenance and value of people’s treasures.

Last year a number of sponsors made financial donations to help defray the costs of putting on the event and the BHS greatly appreciates their support:. Bill Dowson, Mayor of Bluewater; Ben Lobb, Huron Bruce MP; The Docks Restaurant, Bayfield; Willow Lake Design Signs & Graphics, Bayfield; Pharmasave, Bayfield; Autopro Bayfield Garage, Bayfield; D. Grant Construction, London; Hill & Hill Farms Ltd., Varna; BMRoss & Associates Limited, Goderich; Goderich Print Shop, Goderich; Thompsons, Hensall; Hensall District Co ­op, Hensall and Kildonan House B & B, Clinton. The BHS is grateful to them all.

For further information on the event, please contact Phil Gemeinhardt (519-482-9230) or Binnie Sturgeon (519-565-2376).

Historical Walking Tours:
During July and August on each Saturday at 1p.m. members of the Bayfield Historical Society lead informative and liesurely 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 walks can be arranged by appointment, call 519-440-6206.

Primary Fundraiser:
The Bayfield Historical Society's primary fundraiser is our annual Collector Exhibition at the Community Center in the arena in April.

Helen MacLeod ll:
The society facilitates the preservation of the Bayfield built, Helen MacLeod ll, the last sail powered commercial fishing boat to work on the Great Lakes.

The restoration of the Helen MacLeod can be seen here . . .

The Helen MacLeod II

The restoration projectInside the workshop

Society Objectives:
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 Archives Room,

East wall of the Archive West wall of the Archive Other portion of the west wall

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.

East wall of the Archive West wall of the Archive Other portion of the west wall East wall of the Archive

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: 1-5PM

Bayfield Historical ArchivesBayfield Historical, Main Street, Bayfield, ON

The Bayfield Archive’s mandate is to collect, record and preserve local history. Collections include photos, postcards, genealogy, cemetery records, maps and assessment rolls for research

Charitable Donations

The Bayfield Historical Society is registered with the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) as a charitable corporation. 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 Historical society with your generous donations.


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