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Read about the early French explorers who mapped and described the Wisconsin territory in the 17th century.

An Old Man's Tall Tale

Wisconsin pioneer Joseph Crelie was said to be 139 years old when he was exhibited to spectators in 1864. But how old was he really?

Land Speculator and Businessman

Biography of fur trader, lumberman, land speculator and businessman Hercules Louis Dousman.

Discover historical details and explore our online collections related to Kaukauna, Wisconsin.

Historical Essay

Black History in Wisconsin

Read about Black history in Wisconsin. There are many links to original documents, pictures, eyewitness accounts, and other primary sources.

Learn the history of fur farming in Wisconsin.

A Priest Follows Another Priest's 300-Year-Old Path to Death

Learn how Rev. A. A. A. Schmirler traced the path Fr. Rene Menard took in 1661 down northern Wisconsin's rivers to the likely spot of his death.

Historical Essay

Madison's Fur Traders

The First White Men in Madison

The first white residents of Madison were fur traders Wallace Rowan, Olivier Ammel and Michel St. Cyr.

Discover historical details and explore our online collections related to Watertown, Wisconsin.

A Bizarre Story of Scientific Progress

Learn the bizarre story and scientific contributions of Alexis St. Martin, the man who lived over 50 years after a shotgun blasted a hole in his side.

Discover historical details and explore our online collections related to Sheboygan, Wisconsin.

Discover historical details and explore our online collections related to Marinette, Wisconsin.

Read an account of the French explorer who claimed much of Wisconsin for France and who traded with several Indian tribes near Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Historical Essay

Beaver Top Hat

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Top hat made from beaver felt and worn by Green Bay resident Morgan L. Martin, c. 1825. (Museum object #1968.644)

A Short History of Wisconsin

Discover historical details and explore our online collections related to Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

Discover historical details and explore our online collections related to Appleton, Wisconsin.

Historical Essay

Cadotte, Michael, 1764-1837

Pioneer Fur Trader

Brief biography of pioneer fur trader Michael Cadotte.

Learn how white contact disrupted and transformed Indian life in the 17th and 18th centuries.

French Fur Trader

Learn about one of the first French fur traders to visit Wisconsin. Read about his experiences with Indian tribes and his exploration of the countryside.
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