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Historical Essay

How Madison Became a City

Madison went from a small village in 1836 to being organized and governed as a city in 20 years time

Read about the life of this influential Wisconsonite and his contributions to the field of architecture. Article includes links to many primary sources.

Photographer David Giffey Captures Details of Migrant Worker Life

Learn about migrant worker life in Wisconsin and Texas captured by Wisconsin-born photojournalist David Giffey.

A Historical Look at Service Stations

Photographs of Wisconsin gas stations portray the development of service station architecture.

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)

Historical Essay

Bascom Hill Pink Flamingo

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Pink flamingo from the flock that graced Bascom Hill on on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus, 1979. (Museum object #1979.302A-C)

Wisconsin Civil War Regiment

The 20th Wisconsin Infantry was organized at Camp Randall in Madison and mustered into service on August 23, 1862

Discover this bittersweetly tragic story that brings together a feminist pioneer and the infant her husband found in the aftermath of Wounded Knee.

Historical Essay

1960s Prom Dress

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Dress worn by Marti Hall to the spring prom at Madison West High School in 1966. (Museum object #2004.135.1)

Civil War Philanthropist, Wisconsin First Lady, Nurse, and Teacher

A brief biography of Wisconsin’s Florence Nightingale, Cordelia Harvey who was a strong voice for innovatring Civil War Military hospitals.

Historical Essay

Boy's Dress

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Dress worn by John Kiser as a child near Oregon, Wisconsin, c. 1856. (Museum object #1950.5744)

Historical Essay

1880s "Aesthetic" Dress

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Tea gown inspired by the "Aesthetic" Movement of the late nineteenth century, worn by Annie Cronk of Oregon, Wisconsin, c. 1881. (Museum object #1952.128)

Ever wonder why beer is so popular in Wisconsin? Wisconsin history is full of breweries and beer.

Read about the development of the Republican Party in Wisconsin in the years prior to the Civil War.

Historical Essay

Doty, James Duane, 1799-1865

Read a biographical account of the governor of the Wisconsin territory who was largely responsible for the selection of Madison as Wisconsin's capital.

Wisconsin Civil War Regiment

The 47th Wisconsin Infantry Regiment was organized at Camp Randall in Madison and mustered into service on February 27, 1865

Wisconsin Civil War Regiment

The 5th Wisconsin Infantry was organized at Camp Randall in Madison and mustered into service for three years on July 12, 1861

Historical Essay

Silver Wedding Presents

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Silver ladle and spoon given to Syndonia (Hobbins) Jackson of Madison, Wisconsin as a wedding present, 1872. (Museum object #1955.304,A)

Historical Essay

Rosaline Peck's Violin

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Violin and bow played by Madison, Wisconsin pioneer Rosaline Peck, 1830s. (Museum object #1969.304.2,A)
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