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Learn about the origin, and the many spellings and erronious meanings of Wisconsin

Read about the fur trade conducted with the Wisconsin Indians over two centuries by first the French, then the British, and finally the Americans.

Historical Essay

Madison's First Thanksgiving

The Power of the Pumpkin

Read the story of the first Thanksgiving celebrated in Madison.

Historical Essay

Beaver Top Hat

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Top hat made from beaver felt and worn by Green Bay resident Morgan L. Martin, c. 1825. (Museum object #1968.644)

Historical Essay

Petersylvania, Wisconsin

Read the amazing story of a man who watched his potential 10,000-square-mile northern Wisconsin empire disappear into thin air.

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

Historical Essay

Doty, James Duane, 1799-1865

Read a biographical account of the governor of the Wisconsin territory who was largely responsible for the selection of Madison as Wisconsin's capital.

Historical Essay

Early U.S. Settlement

Read how the end of the War of 1812 led to the establishment of American forts and increased exploration and settlement in the Wisconsin territory.

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.

The Printer and the Priest

Discover how Wisconsin got its first printing press, and the impact that a Catholic priest would have on Ho-Chunk literacy.

Influential Early Wisconsin Settlers

A Short Biography

Historical Essay

Polka Rhythms Bandstand

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Bandstand used by Chad Przybylski and his Polka Rhythms of Pulaski, Wisconsin, from c. 1980 until 2003. (Museum object #2003.10.1)

A Wisconsin Civil War Story

Read about the development of social and cultural institutions such as public schools, churches, colleges and universities and Indian mission schools.
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