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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From Sacred Calumets to Ashtrays

Discover the important role that tobacco and the Peace Pipe have played throughout Wisconsin's history.

A Wisconsin Civil War Story

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

"Spanish Lady" costume worn for Halloween by Virginia Shaver in 1922. (Museum object #2003.29.1)

A Wisconsin Civil War Story

Historical Essay

The Founding of Major Cities

Read how land speculation and the development of transportation spurred settlement in 19th-century Wisconsin, leading to the rise of larger cities.

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

Historical Essay

Reform of Military Hospitals

How One Woman Changed Wisconsin During the Civil War

Discover how Cordelia Harvey's mission to reform hospitals during the Civil War would change Wisconsin forever.

Historical Essay

The Civil War Home Front

Discover how the Civil War affected life on the home front and the role of women in supporting the war effort.

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Kelvinator Microwave “Radarange” thought to be the first home microwave oven used in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, 1956. (Museum object #1985.30)

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Jar of marbles used in Wisconsin fair exhibits by Professor John Sweet Donald of the University of Wisconsin during the 1920s. (Museum object #1953.663)

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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