Did you know that there were TWO shipwrecks on Bayfield’s Beach?
The lively festivities at an annual Orangemen party hosted on a stormy evening in 1882, at Hovey’s General Store (operating as Main Street Optometric and The Bayfield General Store today) gave off so much light that the schooner “Malta” ran aground thinking the light was coming from the lighthouse in Goderich. The Malta became stuck on Bayfield’s shore! The Orangemen abandoned their party and rushed to aide the sailors. They were able to save the sailors and the pet parrot that was travelling with them!
The wreck remained stuck where she landed and was later used a dressing room for bathers until it broke up years later. Over the years the wreck has further broken apart but remnants of the Malta can still occasionally be seen from the shore today by those who know where to look!
The Ghost on the water
Local residents often tell eerie stories of sightings on stormy nights of the captain at the rudder facing east still searching for the Harbour.
Learn more about the General Store and the Storm that wrecked the Malta here:
Discover the Malta For Yourself!
On days when the lake is calm and clear you can catch glimpses of Bayfield’s other shipwreck, Malta. She lies near the shore at the bottom of Delevan Street. To view the Malta, plan to arrive on the beach by way of the Howard Street stairs. Once on shore, head north towards Bayfield’s Main Beach. The Malta can be best seen when the water levels are low or by way of canoe or kayak. She lies just under the surface where the water meets the sand.
Who knows, you might even discover a little piece of Bayfield’s history?
Visit the Bayfield Historical Society and Archives on Main Street for more information on Bayfield’s rich history.