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

Historical Essay

Ho-Chunk Hide Scraper

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Wooden handled hide scraper with steel blade made and used by Ho-Chunk Indians in Wisconsin in the early 20th century. (Museum object #1951.949)

Learn about the tragic story of what happened when Ho-Chunk warrior Red Bird and three companions surrender themselves after killing settlers.

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Reebok baby shoes beaded by Ho-Chunk artist Linda Lucero, c. 1990. (Museum object #1993.102A-B)

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

Read about the desperate 1832 battle near Madison, WI, of the starving Sauk, Fox and Kickapoo Native Americans against the British and the Ho-Chunk.

Influential Early Wisconsin Settlers

Historical Essay

The Black Hawk War

Read about the war with the Sauk Indians in the summer of 1832 which resulted in their massacre and defeat and the removal of the tribe from Wisconsin.

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)

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Cherokee twilled basket, probably traded to Wisconsin, mid 19th century. (Museum object #1955.1021)

Learn how contact with Europeans, the fur trade, and warfare among the tribes drove many Indans to the Wisconsin territory in the 17th century.
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