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 of the Wisconsin territory, the formation of a territorial government, and the move of the capital from Belmont to Madison.

Historical Essay

John Muir's Clockwork Desk

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Cockwork study desk built by naturalist John Muir while at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1861-1863. (Museum object F1998.85.1)

Find out where some of the most traveled streets of Madison got their names.

Historical Essay

20th-Century Immigration

Learn how economic and social conditions in Wisconsin and elsewhere brought new groups of immigrants to Wisconsin in the 20th century.

Wisconsin Civil War Regiment

The 34th Wisconsin Infantry was organized at Camp Randall in Madison and mustered into service on December, 1862.

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)

Historical Essay

Bascom Hill Pink Flamingo

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Pink flamingo from the flock that graced Bascom Hill on on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus, 1979. (Museum object #1979.302A-C)

Historical Essay

Silver Wedding Presents

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Silver ladle and spoon given to Syndonia (Hobbins) Jackson of Madison, Wisconsin as a wedding present, 1872. (Museum object #1955.304,A)

Historical Essay

Arndt Vest

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Vest worn by Charles C.P. Arndt when he was shot on the floor of the Wisconsin Territorial Legislature, 1842. (Museum object #1963.300)

Historical Essay

Madison's First Thanksgiving

Read the story of the first Thanksgiving celebrated in Madison.
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