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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Historical Essay

Governor Dreyfus's Red Vest

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Red velveteen vest worn by Wisconsin Governor Lee Sherman Dreyfus, c. 1975. (Museum object #1982.450.15)

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

"Bright beer" storage tank by Dunck Tank Works, Milwaukee, c 1910. Used by Stevens Point Brewery, Stevens Point, c 1915-1995.(Museum object #2007.83.2)

Historical Essay

Civil War Draft Drum

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Military draft raffle drum used to select draftee names in Milwaukee, Wisconsin during the Civil War, 1863-1864. (Museum object #1966.174)

Get to know Isaac P. Walker, the first Wisconsin resident to be a presidential candidate contender in 1850.

Historical Essay

Development of the Railroads

Read how the development of railroads spurred settlement and aided farmers and businesses in mid-19th-century Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

United States Senate campaign banner for Milwaukee Socialist Congressman Victor L. Berger, April 1918. (Museum object #1992.168)

Read about the most famous escapes of fugitive slaves along Wisconsin's Underground Railroad. Includes links to primary sources.

Historical Essay

Lead Toy Soldier Casting Kit

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Toy-Moulds set made by the Make-A-Toy Co. and used by the Asmuth family of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 1930s. (Museum object #1962.228.30,A-U)
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