Collage of historical images.

Wisconsin History Essays

Learn something new about the past and gain a deeper understanding of your world. Hundreds of essays tell the stories of the people, places and events that are Wisconsin history.

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Search by keyword below to find information on Wisconsin's history.

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Read about the creation and early success of the famous Ringling Brothers circus founded in Baraboo, Wisconsin.

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

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

Historical Essay

Shot Tower Lead-Melting Bowl

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Lead-melting bowl used at the Wisconsin Shot Company Shot Tower, Helena, Wisconsin, c. 1833. (Museum object #1992.12)

How One Family Helped Build the Modern Tourist Destination

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

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.

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Duncan Butterfly yo-yo manufactured by the Flambeau Corporation, Baraboo, Wisconsin, 1988-1995. (Museum object #2001.83.13)

Historical Essay

Freethinkers in Wisconsin

Brief history of Freethinkers in Wisconsin.

The Prairie du Sac Dam

Read about the conception and inspiration behind the dam that provides electric power to Sauk and Columbia counties. Includes links to photographs.
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Have Questions?

If you have questions about historical research, please contact our Library Reference Services staff by phone at 608-264-6535 or by email.

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