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Historical Essay

The First Madison Lodgings

From Under a Tree to Madison's Most Popular Lodge

Discover the story surrounding the planning and construction of the first building erected in Madison.

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

A Dishonest Democrat and a Radical Republican

Learn about the election that was so close that Wisconsin briefly had two governors until one was exposed for tampering with ballots.

Historical Essay

Notable Fires in Wisconsin

See a list and brief description of significant fires in Wisconsin history.

Brief history of Wisconsin's various capitol buildings built and destroyed over the decades.

Historical Essay

Capital, Attempted Removal

Brief description of the various attempts to move the Wisconsin Capitol building to other locations.

Historical Essay

Civil War: Battle Flags

Read about the battle flags carried by Wisconsin troops in the Civil War and later displayed in the state capitol.

Brief history of the 1883 Capitol collapse disaster.

Learn more about the 1904 fire that destroyed the third Wisconsin State Capitol.

Historical Essay

State Capitol Spittoon

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Ornamented bronze cuspidor (spittoon) used in the Wisconsin State Capitol, c. 1915-1955. (Museum object #1955.3600,A-B)

A Plot of Land Becomes a City

Discover how Wisconsin went from a small part of a territory to a capital city.

List of known Presidential Visits to Madison.

Historical Essay

Catlin, John, 1803-1874

Brief biography of pioneer lawyer, politician and railroad man John Catlin.

Brief biography of pioneer lawyer, politician and railroad man John Catlin.
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