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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Drawing the Line from the Mississippi to Lake Michigan

Discover how businessmen and the legislature cooperated to create Wisconsin's first railroad.

Steamships, Canals and the 19th Century Economy

Discover what happened when 19th century Wisconsin settlers tried to construct a canal between the Mississippi and the Great Lakes.

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Pouch obtained from an Oneida Indian at the 1997 Milwaukee River Front Pow-Wow. (Museum object #1999.40.1)

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.

Historical Essay

Sousa Conductor's Baton

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Conductor's baton presented to Marquette University by John Philip Sousa in 1924. (Museum object #1980.228.12)

Historical Essay

First Practical Typewriter

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Sholes & Glidden typewriter developed by Christopher Latham Sholes of Milwaukee, Wisconsin and marketed c. 1874. (Museum object #1964.31)

Historical Essay

Old Abe and the Iron Brigade

Wisconsin in the Civil War

Discover how a pet eagle named Old Abe helped Wisconsin serve the Union in the Civil War

Historical Essay

Epidemic Anniversary

A History of Disease in Wisconsin

Read this informative collection of all the outbreaks and epidemics in Wisconsin's history.

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Evacuation Route road sign used to direct Milwaukee, Wisconsin residents out of town in the event of a potential nuclear bomb detonation, installed 1955-19

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Baseball bat issued to Milwaukee Braves second baseman Red Schoendienst for the 1957 World Series. (Museum object #2005.128.1)
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Have Questions?

If you have questions about historical research, please contact our Library Reference Services staff by phone at 608-264-6535 or by email.

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