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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Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Early Paleo-Indian fluted spear point found in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, and made between 12,000 B.C. and 8,000 B.C. (Museum object #1985.2)

A Wisconsin Civil War Story

The Battle of Spotsylvania, Virginia, in May 1864 pitted 100,000 Union troops against 52,000 Confederates.

Wisconsin Civil War Regiment

Read about the 26th Wisconsin Infantry, which served in the Civil War 1862-1865 and lost 265 men during service.

A Popular Swindler

Read about John Till and the miraculous "medical" plaster treatment that led to his arrest by the State Medical Board.

A Wisconsin Civil War Story

Discover a befuddling experience Captain Rufus R. Dawes of Company K, the 6th Wisconsin Infantry had after arriving at Camp Randall for training

A Priest Follows Another Priest's 300-Year-Old Path to Death

Learn how Rev. A. A. A. Schmirler traced the path Fr. Rene Menard took in 1661 down northern Wisconsin's rivers to the likely spot of his death.

Historical Essay

Gold Rush Shawl

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Chinese silk shawl purchased in California during the Gold Rush by Joseph Stroebe of Winnebago County, Wisconsin in 1855. (Museum object #1960.10)

Historical Essay

Sundae Sermon

Defining Sundaes

Was the first ice cream sundae made in Wisconsin or New York? Give this whimsical story a read and come to your own conclusion.

Historical Essay

Deer Hide Jacket

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Deer hide jacket of Ruel Garnich Baldwin, c. 1915. (Museum object #2005.147.1)

Wisconsin Civil War Regiment

Read about the 1st Wisconsin Infantry. Includes links to a longer history, the Infantry's roster, list of casualities, original documents and assignments.
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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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