Pioneer Park is a privately owned park located in the beautiful Village of Bayfield, Ontario on a bluff overlooking Lake Huron. Best known for its breathtaking sunset views Pioneer Park is a favourite destination among residents and visitors seeking tranquillity and relaxation in a natural setting.
The purpose of the Pioneer Park Association (Letters Patent 1947) is: to promote the health and enjoyment of the people of the said village of Bayfield and vicinity, through owning, preserving, improving and managing a park or parks open to the public without charge, and to undertake other projects for the welfare of the community.
HISTORY OF PIONEER PARK
In 1945, Lucy Woods Diehl, a life-long resident of Bayfield, Ontario enlisted the aid of several friends of the community to preserve this last piece of undeveloped lakefront property on the bluff overlooking the Bayfield River and Lake Huron. In all, Lucy recruited eight of her friends to join her in the purchase of the parkland. The original contributors, consisting of summer cottagers and permanent residents were: Anne Brown, Alice Drouin, Marion Fairbairn, Marion Hendrick, Lloyd Hodgins, Jessie Metcalf, Jessie Miller, Catherine Rankin, John Stewart, Lucy Woods, and Grace Woolfenden.
Lucy Woods also decided that the land should be owned and operated by an association and not by individuals and so contracted the help of Frank Fingland, K.C. of Clinton for the incorporation. Fingland did this legal work without pay and is so considered to be one of the original contributors to the park.
In 1949, the original quarter-acre plot was enlarged by a gift of parts of four lots donated by Phillip Rhynas in honour of his grandparents, Mr. & Mrs. John Ferguson and his mother, Margaret Grace Maude Ferguson Rhynas.
The original Directors chose the name Pioneer Park as a tribute to the early settlers of Bayfield. Some of the activities set up to raise funds for the park over the years, such as the Rummage Sale (originating in 1948) continue on to this day. In addition to film nights, outdoor plays and puppet shows in the first 30 years of the park, today the park hosts Saturday night entertainment and weddings among other activities.!
To discover more of Bayfield’s history visit the Heritage Centre and Archives located on Heritage Main Street in Bayfield!