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Read about the creation and early success of the famous Ringling Brothers circus founded in Baraboo, Wisconsin.

Historical Essay

Madison's Fur Traders

The First White Men in Madison

The first white residents of Madison were fur traders Wallace Rowan, Olivier Ammel and Michel St. Cyr.

Wisconsin Civil War Regiment

Read about the 38th Wisconsin Infantry, which served in the Civil War 1864-1865 and lost 113 men during service.

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)

A Wisconsin Civil War Story

Learn how Cordelia Harvey established a hospital in Madison to help Civil War soldiers

Historical Essay

Jews in Wisconsin

Brief history of Jews in Wisconsin.

History of the Madison Alliance for Homosexual Equality (MAHE)

Historical Essay

Red Dot Potato Chip Can

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Container for potato chips made by Red Dot Foods, Inc., Madison, Wisconsin, c. 1950. (Museum object #2002.384.1A-B)

Historical Essay

Edgerton Bible Case

Brief explanation of The Edgerton Bible case and its wider ramifications.

Historical Essay

Old Abe and the Iron Brigade

Wisconsin in the Civil War

Discover how a pet eagle named Old Abe helped Wisconsin serve the Union in the Civil War

Wisconsin Civil War Regiment

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

Learn more about the 1904 fire that destroyed the third Wisconsin State Capitol.

Speculating on a Dream

Join cantankerous British geologist George Featherstonehaugh as he travels to Madison in 1837 and finds things not as he expected them to be.

Historical Essay

Wisconsin's Spanish Currency

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Spanish Reale coin from the Alden's Corners Post Office Site in Dane County, Wisconsin. (Museum object #2002.211.8)

Historical Essay

Bascom, John (1827-1911)

Educator, University President and Author

Brief biography of John Bascom, president of the University of Wisconsin from 1874 to 1887.

Learn about the pottery company that developed in Edgerton, Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Inauguration gown worn by Wisconsin First Lady Sue Ann Thompson at her first inauguration ball, 1987. (Museum object #2003.61.1a-b)

Historical Essay

Wisconsin's Early Schools

How the University was Began

Discover how the lack of educational opportunities in Wisconsin helped create the University of Wisconsin.

Brief history of the ice harvesting industry in Wisconsin.

Historical Essay

1880s "Aesthetic" Dress

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Tea gown inspired by the "Aesthetic" Movement of the late nineteenth century, worn by Annie Cronk of Oregon, Wisconsin, c. 1881. (Museum object #1952.128)
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