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A Plot of Land Becomes a City

Discover how Wisconsin went from a small part of a territory to a capital city.

Historical Essay

Rosaline Peck's Violin

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Violin and bow played by Madison, Wisconsin pioneer Rosaline Peck, 1830s. (Museum object #1969.304.2,A)

Historical Essay

Petrified Man Hoax

Brief description of the Petrified Man Hoax.

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Early hand-carved table made by Levi Havemann, a German immigrant to Madison, c. 1860. (Museum object #1998.21.1)

Wisconsin Civil War Regiment

The 52nd Wisconsin Infantry was organized at Camp Randall in Madison in April 1865, at the very end of the war.

Historical Essay

Leopold, Aldo, 1887-1948

Father of Wildlife Ecology

Learn about the man whose focus on the philosophy of conservation would inspire the environmental movement during the mid-20th century.

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Drum kit used by Viroqua, Wisconsin, native Butch Vig when he played with the bands Spooner, Fire Town, and the Grammy-nominated Garbage. (Museum object)

Historical Essay

Madison Style Ice Boat Model

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Madison Style ice boat model built by the Bernard family, c. 1917, rebuilt 1977. (Museum object #1983.292)

Historical Essay

Bull, Ole Borneman 1810-1880

Musician and Concert Violinist

Read about Ole Bull, the Norwegian musician and concert violinist who resided in Madison for several years in the 1870s.

Historical Essay

Jews in Wisconsin

Brief history of Jews in Wisconsin.

Historical Essay

Vinnie Ream Marble Sculpture

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Spirito Del Carnevale (Spirit of the Carnival)sculpture by Vinnie Ream, 1870. (Museum Object #1965.270.2)

Father of the Wisconsin Dairy Industry, Wisconsin Governor

Find out about the Wisconsin governor who championed for high standards in the dairy industry and founded the State Dairyman's Association.

Historical Essay

Land Speculation and Cities

How Real Estate Owners Created Wisconsin

Discover how land owners promoted their towns and villages for settlers and created the cities you know today.

Wisconsin Civil War Regiment

The 47th Wisconsin Infantry Regiment was organized at Camp Randall in Madison and mustered into service on February 27, 1865.

Historical Essay

Benjamin Butts (1853-1930)

One Man's Journey from Slavery to Madison Business Owner to State Assembly Staff Member

Learn about a freed slave's intriguing story as a barber serving Wisconsin's prominent politicians, and as a well-known, beloved face in the capital city.

Historical Essay

Silver Wedding Presents

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Silver ladle and spoon given to Syndonia (Hobbins) Jackson of Madison, Wisconsin as a wedding present, 1872. (Museum object #1955.304,A)

A New Vision for the United States

Discover how a few key political issues in the 1850s gave birth to the Republican Party

Historical Essay

Bascom, John (1827-1911)

Educator, University President and Author

Brief biography of John Bascom, president of the University of Wisconsin from 1874 to 1887.

Wisconsin Civil War Regiment

Read about the 40th Wisconsin Infantry, which served in the Civil War 1864-1865 and lost 19 men during service.

Brief history of Wisconsin's various capitol buildings built and destroyed over the decades.
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