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BHA raises thousands to turn Old Bayfield City Jail to exhibit

BAYFIELD, WI — A historic landmark anchoring Bayfield will soon be returning to the forefront of town.

The old city jail was active from 1926 to 1942, and now, thousands of dollars have been raised to restore, preserve, and share it for generations to come.

“It’s always great when you can take an old building and then not only make it look nice and preserve it, but share it and make it an interesting little landmark,” Megan Boyle, executive director of the Bayfield Heritage Association, says.

The Bayfield Heritage Association (BHA) is bringing the jail back to life.

“The idea there was to not only preserve it, but also to turn it into an educational tool,” Boyle says.

In the coming months, the public will be invited to get a first-hand look of the old, stone-built, 25-square feet of Bayfield history.

“Share history in a way that makes it relevant for us today, and to appreciate where we’ve all come from and what makes Bayfield unique,” Boyle says.

A project that wouldn’t be possible without the more than 100 donors who stepped up to help fund the exhibit.

“Both local businesses and individuals,” Boyle says. “We received some grant funding from the Duluth-Superior Area Community Foundation.”

Boyle says the BHA is within $500 of its $30,000 goal.

“Any additional funds at this point will help us just kind of finalize the interior exhibit,” Boyle says.

A place where the community can look back, remember, and learn.

“It feels really great to have preserved this little piece of our history, and BHA is really proud of that. And we look forward to sharing it with more people,” Boyle says.

The exhibit is expected to be completed by next spring.

Once it is ready to go, the public will be able to check it out during summer business hours.

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Gamiel Hall

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