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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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."

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

Women's History in Wisconsin

Provides a comprehensive summary of women's history in Wisconsin and contains primary sources from the 16th century to the early 21st century.

How One Family Helped Build the Modern Tourist Destination

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

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.

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

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

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

Wooden Curling Stone

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Wooden curling stone used near Lodi, Wisconsin in the 19th century. (Museum object #1957.205)
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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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