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Historical Essay

Benjamin Butts (1853-1930)

One Man's Journey from Slavery to Madison Business Owner to State Assembly Staff Member

Learn about a freed slave's intriguing story as a barber serving Wisconsin's prominent politicians, and as a well-known, beloved face in the capital city.

Historical Essay

Governor Dreyfus's Red Vest

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Red velveteen vest worn by Wisconsin Governor Lee Sherman Dreyfus, c. 1975. (Museum object #1982.450.15)

Historical Essay

Madison Style Ice Boat Model

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Madison Style ice boat model built by the Bernard family, c. 1917, rebuilt 1977. (Museum object #1983.292)

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

Historical Essay

The Civil War Home Front

Discover how the Civil War affected life on the home front and the role of women in supporting the war effort.

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.

Wisconsin Civil War Regiment

The 52nd Wisconsin Infantry was organized at Camp Randall in Madison in April 1865, at the very end of the war.

Historical Essay

Old Abe, the War Eagle

Civil War Mascot, 8th Wisconsin Infantry

Read about the war eagle who served as the mascot of the 8th Wisconsin Infantry. This article contains links to original documents, images, and accounts.

Historical Essay

Farming and Rural Life

Discover how farming drew immigrants to Wisconsin in the 19th century, the state's role as a major wheat producer, and later diversification of crops.

Historical Essay

La Follette Casket Flag

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

United States Flag used to drape the caskets of both Robert M. La Follette, Sr. and Jr. (Museum object #1951.187)

Wisconsin Civil War Officer, Politician, Manufacturer

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

German bisque doll with her trunk of clothes and accessories, c. 1908. (Museum object #1966.408.1)

Wisconsin Civil War Regiment

The 42nd Wisconsin Infantry was organized at Camp Randall in Madison and mustered into service on September 7, 1864.

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Minicom III TTY machine made by Ultratec, Inc., Madison, Wisconsin, c. 1986-1989. (Museum object #2004.58.2a-h)

Read about how Madison was chosen the capitol city during the first Wisconsin territorial convention

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

Magician's Escape Trunk

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Escape trunk, restraining devices, and curtain used by magician Ben Bergor of Madison, Wisconsin, 1940s. (Museum objects #1982.159.17,19,21,23,25)

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

Historical Essay

The Story of Memorial Day

Celebrations of Memorial Day Throughout History

Discover the history of Memorial Day celebrations in Wisconsin.

Historical Essay

Leopold, Aldo, 1887-1948

Father of Wildlife Ecology

Learn about the man whose focus on the philosophy of conservation would inspire the environmental movement during the mid-20th century.
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