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View these 19th-century panoramic, detailed maps of Wisconsin communities.

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.

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

Stephenson, Isaac 1829-1918

Lumberman, Financier and Congressman

Biography of Isaac Stephenson who was a lumberman, financier and congressman.

The Virgin Mary Appears to an Illiterate Peasant Girl

Learn about the first and only manifestation of the Virgin Mary in the United States near Green Bay, confirmed by the Vatican.

Lawyer, Judge, Politician and Land Speculator

Biography of lawyer, judge, politician and land speculator Morgan Lewis Martin.

Historical Essay

Campers' Wash-Up Kit

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Wash-Up Kit made by the Bay West Company, Green Bay. Distributed by the Yankee Paper and Specialty Co. of Menasha in the 1920s. (Museum object #1998.6.2)

An Unreliable Text and Other Evidence

Wisconsin History books teach that Jean Nicolet was the first white person to reach the state, but he may have been the second.

Historical Essay

Wisconsin's Early Schools

How the University was Began

Discover how the lack of educational opportunities in Wisconsin helped create the University of Wisconsin.

Teacher, Newspaperman and Politician

Biography of teacher, newspaperman and politician Albert Gallatin Ellis.

Historical Essay

Williams, Eleazer 1788-1858

Canadian Clergyman, Missionary and Con Artist

Biography of Eleazer Williams, a Canadian clergyman and missionary who claimed to be the French Lost Dauphin.

A Short History of Wisconsin

Jesuit Missionary

Read about the Jesuit priest who established several missions in Wisconsin during the 17th century.

Missionary and Clergyman

Biography of Richard Fish Cadle, Episcopal clergyman and missionary who established many Wisconsin parishes.

How Wisconsin was Divided

Discover how the Ordinance of 1787 extended government, prohibited slavery and led to the survey of public lands north of the Ohio River.

Photographs of Public Libraries in Wisconsin

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

A Historical Look at Service Stations

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

Read about Earth Day's founder, Gaylord Nelson, a Wisconsin senator and early environmentalist.

Historical Essay

20th Century Immigration

The History of Modern Immigration in Wisconsin

Discover the economic and cultural changes that brought new immigrants to Wisconsin in the 20th 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?
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