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

1957 Soap Box Derby Racer

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

"Soap box" coaster car operated by Van Steiner in the All-American Soap Box Derby in 1957. (Museum object # 2009.56.1)

Historical Essay

Civil War Silver

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Tiffany punch bowl presented to Wisconsin's Joseph Bailey in honor of his service during the Civil War. (Museum object #1965.228.1,A)

Historical Essay

Benjamin Butts (1853-1930)

One Man's Journey from Slavery to Madison Business Owner to State Assembly Staff Member

Learn about a freed slave's intriguing story as a barber serving Wisconsin's prominent politicians, and as a well-known, beloved face in the capital city.

Historical Essay

Bemis Riddell Chaise Lounge

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Bemis Riddell chaise lounge custom made for the company owner, Albert Bemis, c. 1925 (reupholstered, c. 1940). (Museum Object #1984.319.1A-B)

Get to know Isaac P. Walker, the first Wisconsin resident to be a presidential candidate contender in 1850.

Wisconsin Civil War Regiment

The 2nd Wisconsin Infantry was organized at Camp Randall in Madison, and mustered into service for three years on June 11, 1861.

Historical Essay

More Bank Failures (1857)

Discover the effects that the Panic of 1857 had on La Crosse.

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Banjo-ukulele used by jingle composer Richard Trentlage in the first recording of the Oscar Mayer Wiener Song, 1962. (Museum object #2009.59.1)

Historical Essay

1960s Prom Dress

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Dress worn by Marti Hall to the spring prom at Madison West High School in 1966. (Museum object #2004.135.1)
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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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