Collage of historical images.

Wisconsin History Essays

Learn something new about the past and gain a deeper understanding of your world. Hundreds of essays tell the stories of the people, places and events that are Wisconsin history.

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Search by keyword below to find information on Wisconsin's history.

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Learn about the canal era and the use of steamboats on Wisconsin waterways and lakes in the 19-th century.

Historical Essay

The Crowning of King James

Early Mormon leader James J. Strang declares himself successor to Joseph Smith, relocates followers to Burlington, WI, and has himself crowned "king."

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Multi-Purpose Food from Cold War fallout shelter in Racine, Wisconsin, 1960. (Museum object #1996.81.81)

Historical Essay

20th-Century Immigration

Learn how economic and social conditions in Wisconsin and elsewhere brought new groups of immigrants to Wisconsin in the 20th century.

Historical Essay

Early Two-Piece Bathing Suit

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Two-piece bathing suit worn by Lois Nelson of Racine, Wisconsin, c. 1947. (Museum object #2003.113.6A-B)

Historical Essay

A League of Their Own

All-American Girls Baseball League Thrives During WWII

The story of the All-American Girls Baseball League that thrilled fans for 12 seasons in cities and towns including Kenosha, Racine, and Milwaukee.

Wisconsin Civil War Regiment

The 9th Wisconsin Independent Battery Light Artillery was organized at Burlington and mustered into service January 27, 1862.

Learn how Wisconsin became an industrial center in the latter half of the 19th century.

A Wisconsin Civil War Story

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Cardboard Hanukkah decoration used by three generations of a Wisconsin family, c. 1960. (Museum object #2002.388.6)
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