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How One Family Helped Build the Modern Tourist Destination

Discover how Wisconsin Dells came to prominence as a Midwestern tourism institution.

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Eagle feather dance staff used at 1933 World's Fair by Ho-Chunk dancers from the Wisconsin Dells. (Museum object #2001.49.1)

An intimate look at family, architecture, interiors and fashion in Victorian Wisconsin between 1885 and 1900

Learn about the lives of upper-middle class Wisconsinites in the Victorian period between 1885 and 1900.

Hero of the Confederacy

Discover the story of Belle Boyd, the celebrity Civil War spy who died while performing in the Wisconsin Dells.

Harry Ellsworth Cole

Cole's photographs show scenic views of the Dells and Devil's Lake area as well as geological features throughout Sauk County.

Architectural photographs of the restored opera houses of Wisconsin.

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

Historical Essay

Bartlett, Tommy (1914-1998)

This Milwaukeean's prolific life in the entertainment business helped transform the Wisconsin Dells into the major tourist destination it is today.

Historical Essay

Asbestos Baby Bottle Warmer

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Automobile baby bottle warmer lined with asbestos, made by the Hankscraft Company, Reedsburg, Wisconsin, c. 1955. (Museum object #1979.316.21)

Historical Essay

Wonder Spot "Book" Sign

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Wonder Spot "Book" sign that greeted thousands of visitors to the beloved Wonder Spot attraction in the Wisconsin Dells area, c. 1990. (Museum Object #2007

Frank Lloyd Wright's Wisconsin Home

Learn about he home of architect Frank Lloyd Wright and view rare photographs of the building he designed and redesigned during his lifetime.

Photographs of Public Libraries in Wisconsin

Learn about how the Wisconsin Free Library Commission helped to establish and improve free public libraries in Wisconsin.

Historical Essay

Frank Lloyd Wright Furniture

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Chest of drawers with mirror designed by Frank Lloyd Wright for commercial market, c. 1955. (Museum object #1995.2.2.1-2)

An Inventive and Imaginative Photographer

Learn about H.H. Bennett, the 19th-century photographer of Wisconsin Dells landscapes.

Historical Essay

Lumberjack Saved Union Fleet

3,000 Dam the Red River

Read this wild story about a Wisconsin Dells lumberjack applying his knowledge of dams to help Union forces escape a Confederate attack.

A Wisconsin Civil War Story

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

A Wisconsin Civil War Story

Read about how a lieutenant outwitted Confederate soldiers after he was captured in the fog near Petersburg, Virginia

Historical Essay

The Birth of Lake Delton

Learn about the rise of Wisconsin Dells tourism, and read about the creation and collapse of the manmade river it was founded on. Links to pictures.

This informative article details the creation and early success of the famous Ringling Brothers circus founded in Baraboo, Wisconsin.
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