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

The Founding of Major Cities

Read how land speculation and the development of transportation spurred settlement in 19th-century Wisconsin, leading to the rise of larger cities.

Learn about the canal era and the use of steamboats on Wisconsin waterways and lakes in the 19-th century.

Historical Essay

Beaver Top Hat

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Top hat made from beaver felt and worn by Green Bay resident Morgan L. Martin, c. 1825. (Museum object #1968.644)

Historical Essay

Curling in Wisconsin

Discover the rich history of the sport of curling in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin History textbooks will tell us that Jean Nicolet was the first white person to reach our state, but there's evidence that he was the second.

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

Learn about the origin, and the many spellings and erronious meanings of Wisconsin

Learn about the first extreme winters in Wisconsin suffered by explorers and settlers in the 17th through 19th centuries, with links to other articles

Historical Essay

Polka Rhythms Bandstand

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Bandstand used by Chad Przybylski and his Polka Rhythms of Pulaski, Wisconsin, from c. 1980 until 2003. (Museum object #2003.10.1)

Learn how the Ordinance of 1787 extended government, prohibited slavery, and let to the survey of public lands northwest of the Ohio River.
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