Site No.25: The City of Wayland


The city of Wayland was first settled by Nelson Chambers in 1838. Then it was known as Chamber’s Corners.  Chambers built a small cabin at the Southeast corner of what is now Main Street and Superior Street. This was added on to and became Wayland’s first hotel called the Wayland House.

Like most of the towns on this tour, Wayland was also visited by fire. The 1902 fire destroyed the Southwest block of Main and Superior Street. One building was left standing – the little red barn you can see today behind Wayland Hardware is that building.

Wayland - morning after fire
Wayland 1902 – The morning after the fire.

Why so many fires?  Remember that most of the buildings were made of wood, and all cooking and heating before the advent of electricity and gas was done with wood burning stoves or fireplaces. Fires were a common occurrence in towns in the 1800’s and early 1900’s. Take some time to walk around the town, and see if you can find the little red barn.



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