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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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.

A Wisconsin Civil War Story

Hero of the Confederacy

Discover the story of Belle Boyd, the celebrity Civil War spy who died while performing in the Wisconsin Dells.

Historical Essay

Ojibwe Presentation Pipe

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Ojibwe pipe presented to Wisconsin territorial governor James Duane Doty, 1844. (Museum object #1955.399,A)

Historical Essay

Early U.S. Settlement

Military Outposts in Wisconsin

Read how American forts were established and settlement increased in Wisconsin after the War of 1812.

Historical Essay

The Birth of Lake Delton

Learn about the rise of Wisconsin Dells tourism, and read about the creation and collapse of the man-made river it was founded on.

Historical Essay

Southern Colonial Dollhouse

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Southern Colonial dollhouse handmade and furnished by Ann Little of Columbus, Wisconsin, 1976-1977. (Museum object #2007.191.1)

Historical Essay

Prohibition Soda Pop

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Case of soda pop bottles shipped by the Kurth Company of Columbus, Wisconsin during prohibition, 1920-1933. (Museum object #1994.77.1)

Learn about the origin, and the many spellings and multiple meanings of "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.
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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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