Thursday, June 19, 2008

Bayfield, Ontario

Bayfield, OntarioBayfield, Ontario is a community in the Municipality of Bluewater (2006 pop. 7,120) on the shore of Lake Huron, at the mouth of Bayfield River.

In 1832 Carel Lodewijk, Baron van Tuyll van Serooskerken, a Dutch nobleman, purchased large holdings from the Canada Company including 388 acres here. He named the settlement after his friend, Henry Wolsey Bayfield, the British nautical surveyor.

During the next decade an extensive town plot was laid out, grist and saw mills were erected and a community was established. The settlement developed as a centre for the surrounding agricultural community. By 1851 the hamlet contained a wagon and ploughmaking works, two blacksmiths shops, an ashery, a distillery, two tanneries, a brickyard and about 125 residents.

Location of Bayfield, OntarioThe construction of a harbour during the 1870's spurred further growth, and in 1876, with a population of over 800, Bayfield was incorporated as a village.   Bayfield languished until after World War II when it became a popular vacation and retirement community.