The Timber Baron Inn gets its name from its view, which overlooks the Pikes Creek Valley. Elisha Pike owned and operated a shingle mill at Pikes Bay as early as 1855 before Bayfield had even been platted in 1856. He logged the valley our Inn overlooks, and his son R.D. Pike became Bayfield's first Timber Baron. Capt. R.D. Pike owned and operated the largest lumber mill in Northern Wisconsin until his death in 1906. The large amount of land and virgin pines brought more and more people to Bayfield, especially those in the timber industry. Many of the names seen all around the area were Bayfield's biggest Timber Barons. R.D Pike, Frank Boutin Jr, William Knight, Henry J. Wachsmuth, and Isaac Wing were all wealthy Bayfieldites who earned their wealth in the timber industry.
My dad and I work in the logging industry and he originally purchased this property fifteen years ago for his business. As my dad logged the property he realized what an amazing view it had. The view of Pikes Valley, it's proximity to Lake Superior, and all that Mt. Ashwabay and Big Top Chautauqua offers inspired us to build the inn. The combination of Bayfield's logging history, and our own family business gave the Timber Baron its name. Whether the property was logged by a Timber Baron like R.D. Pike or cut by a local logger like my dad, the property has served many generations and now we'd like to share it with you.
OUR ROOTS GO DEEP
Given our history in the fishing industry, we encourage you to try a local delicacy. A fresh fish liver dinner offered at a few of Bayfield's fine restaurants. If my grandfather Allison was still alive, he would have asked to join you and added on a plate of trout cheeks (his favorite.)
Try us during the winter months and use the Timber Baron Inn as your gateway to all the winter fun Northern Wisconsin offers!
Bayfield has a rich pioneering history and our family has deep roots in that history. We have had family ties with lighthouse keepers, commercial fishing, logging, fruit farmers and more.
Keepers of the Lights: My great-great-grandfather Vern Barningham was a lighthouse keeper on Raspberry and Outer Island. My grandfather, Richard Carrier, was a Keeper at the Outer Island light station and Long Island's LaPointe light station while enlisted in the Coast Guard.
Commercial Fisherman: My Grandmother Tresa Carrier (Boutin) comes from one of the first families to pioneer Bayfield. One hundred Boutin's came to Bayfield in 1891 with boats and gill nets intending to make their mark as commercial fisherman in the up and coming Northern Wisconsin community. The Boutin's have had a presence in Bayfield ever since. If you're in the mood for fresh, locally caught Lake Superior fish, stop in at Boutin fisheries or the other local fresh fish vendors in the area.
Fruit Farmers: My Great-Grandfather Walter Barningham owned and operated Walt Barningham Orchards, along with being head of the Bayfield Fruit Growers Association. He grew apples, strawberries and raspberries. In his older years he transitioned his efforts solely to his apple crop. My dad tells stories of learning how to graft trees, drive tractors, and straighten nails at his grandfather's orchard located on Star Route, which can be seen from the inn.
Timber Baron: Frank Boutin Jr. was one of the original Boutin's to re-locate here in the late 1800's. He was a very successful business man in Bayfield and owned fishing and logging businesses. He owned and logged vast amounts of land in the Chequamegon Bay area. He built the Historic Chateau Boutin as his personal residence and also owned the first automobile in Bayfield.
Our family history and love of the area runs deep. If you want a local's perspective on the area's history or suggestions for what to do during your stay, we are here to answer any questions you may have.