Our Church's History
Christ Church traces its beginning to 1856 as the first settlers came to Bayfield expecting to build a great inland seaport. The church is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
C. B. Rittenhouse donated land for the church. Prosperity came to Bayfield with the outbreak of the Civil War, creating a demand for the area’s lumber.
The nave was erected from local white pine lumber and the mission was formally organized in the Diocese of Wisconsin under Bishop Jackson Kemper. Later diocesan reorganizations put Christ Church in the Diocese of Fond du Lac and then, currently in the Diocese of Eau Claire.
A bell tower, apse, chancel and high altar were added to the building. The original hand-hewn pews are still in use. Tiffany-style stained glass windows make the apse particularly charming.
The harmonium was built by Story and Clark of Chicago. It is in excellent condition.
The high altar was renovated and the tabernacle door was opened and fashioned with an antique lock. A hanging sacrament lamp, which burns perpetually, indicates that the Blessed Sacrament is reserved in the tabernacle. The original altar from circa 1873 was found and placed free standing in the chancel and is now used for the celebration of the Holy Eucharist.
On August 15, a beautiful hand-painted Icon of Our Lady of Walsingham was consecrated by Bishop Wantland. The icon was painted by artist Christine Pohuly and is unique in that in addition to the figures of Mary and the Christ Child, symbols of the region, Bayfield and Native American art surround them. A permanent Shrine for the icon was erected at the back of the church.