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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Read about the development of social and cultural institutions such as public schools, churches, colleges and universities and Indian mission schools.

Historical Essay

Home Childbirth Training Kit

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

"Miniature Home Delivery Kit" used to instruct expectant mothers by the Bureau of Maternal and Child Health, c. 1938. (Museum object #1995.6.1-51)

Historical Essay

Magician's Escape Trunk

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Escape trunk, restraining devices, and curtain used by magician Ben Bergor of Madison, Wisconsin, 1940s. (Museum objects #1982.159.17,19,21,23,25)

Historical Essay

John Muir's Clockwork Desk

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Cockwork study desk built by naturalist John Muir while at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1861-1863. (Museum object F1998.85.1)

Learn about the first extreme winters in Wisconsin suffered by explorers and settlers in the 17th through 19th centuries, with links to other articles

Historical Essay

Madison's Castle

In the late 1800s there was a castle on the shore of Lake Mendota OTHER than the Red Gym. This is that castle's mysterious story.

Find out where some of the most traveled streets of Madison got their names.

Historical Essay

Giant Punt Gun

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Punt gun used to hunt waterfowl on Lake Mendota, Madison, Wisconsin, c. 1866-1870. (Museum object #1947.1743)

Historical Essay

The Story of Memorial Day

Discover the history of Memorial Day celebrations in Wisconsin.

Read about African Americans and the struggle for civil rights in Milwaukee and Madison in the 1960s and 1970s.
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