Bayfield History

The original settlement in the Pine River Valley was named Los Pinos. It consisted of approximately fifteen families. The first early settler who had claimed to be in the Pine River Valley was John Taylor, who arrived between 1871 and 1873.

Bayfield, a ranching community, was homesteaded by George Morrison and later sold to R.C. and Clarence Hensley. In 1894 it was sold to William A. and Laura E. Bay, whom in April of 1898, donated eighty acres of land to be laid out for the Town, which was later incorporated. It was started as a trading and social center for the farmers and ranchers of the Pine River Valley. The Schiller family also donated land in April of 1898. The Town received its name after a flip of a coin between Mr. Bay and Mr. Schiller. Mr. Bay won the honor of naming the community. If Mr. Schiller would have won the coin toss, the Town of Bayfield would have been name Schillerville.

The first business was a trading post and general store. The first bank was the Farmers and Merchants Bank. The safe from the bank can be found at Mill Street Drug Store. The first doctor opened an office in 1904 and the first State of Colorado Approved Standard School in Bayfield was founded in 1923. It was a two-story building with two classrooms on each floor. The high school was located at the top with the lower level being used for elementary grades. This area is now included in the Bayfield School District 10JT-R. The first post office was named Los Pinos and later became the Bayfield post office. The mail was delivered by the Pony Express.

The Town was incorporated August 18, 1906 with George Wheeler as the first mayor. The first newspaper, the Bayfield Blade was published by Dan Eggar. After more than 100 years, Bayfield still has at its heart a traditional neighborhood with a strong sense of community. Today, Bayfield is a growing community with a current population of around 1,800 residents. As the Town continues to grow the citizens and the Town officials are committed to maintaining the close-knit feel of a small town.