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

Magician's Escape Trunk

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Escape trunk, restraining devices, and curtain used by magician Ben Bergor of Madison, Wisconsin, 1940s. (Museum objects #1982.159.17,19,21,23,25)

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Child's ceramic toilet set used by Elizabeth Marshall of Shorewood Hills, Wisconsin, c. 1905. (Museum object #1947.909,A-B)

Read about the desperate 1832 battle near Madison, WI, of the starving Sauk, Fox and Kickapoo Native Americans against the British and the Ho-Chunk.

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

"Broken Star" quilt made from flour and feed sacks for a 4-H project, 1931. (Museum object #2005.115.1)

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

Historical Essay

When Beer Was Almost Illegal

A Popular Speaker Sways Opinion

Discover the connection between P.T. Barnum and the 1853 statewide referendum on liquor sales.

Historical Essay

Shotz Brewery Costume

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Shotz Brewery smock used in Laverne and Shirley television series, 1976-1980. (Museum object #2006.38.1)

Historical Essay

Vitamin-Finding Feces Bucket

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Sheetmetal bucket with wooden handle. Collected cow manure for University of Wisconsin, Madison, nutrition experiments, 1907-1911.(Museum object #1992.103)

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Garnet velvet evening gown worn by Wisconsin First Lady Charlotte McAleer Kohler to President Eisenhower's 1953 Inauguration Ball. (Museum object #1960.211

Learn about the origin, and the many spellings and multiple meanings of "Wisconsin."
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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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