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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.

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.

The Story of Lost Bird

Discover this harrowing story that brings together a feminist pioneer and the infant her husband found in the aftermath of Wounded Knee.

Historical Essay

Madison's Castle

In the late 1800s there was a castle on the shore of Lake Mendota OTHER than the Red Gym. This is that castle's mysterious story.

Learn about the Vietnam War and Wisconsin's role in supporting and opposing the American involvement in that conflict.

Read about the life of this influential Wisconsonite and his contributions to the field of architecture. Article includes links to many primary sources.

Historical Essay

How Madison Became a City

Madison went from a small village in 1836 to being organized and governed as a city in 20 years time

Wisconsin Civil War Officer, Lawyer, Governor's Guard

Read about a very influential Civil War Colonel that served as aide-de-camp to the top commanders of the Iron Brigade. Includes inks to learn more.

Madison's Soap Box Derby

Learn about the history of Madison's Soap Box Derby, a popular racing sport amongst young boys nation-wide in the early to mid-1900s.

Wisconsin Civil War Regiment

The 52nd Wisconsin Infantry was organized at Camp Randall in Madison in April 1865, at the very end of the war.

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Deauville-style chair used at the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Memorial Union Terrace on Lake Mendota, 1930s. (Museum object #1982.271.9)

Historical Essay

Madison's First Thanksgiving

The Power of the Pumpkin

Read the story of the first Thanksgiving celebrated in Madison.

Wisconsin Civil War Officer, Three-Term Wisconsin Governor, U.S. Diplomat

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Engine fragment from the van used in the Sterling Hall bombing, 1970. (Museum object #1994.8)

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 Civil War Regiment

Read a brief description of the 1st U.S. Sharpshooters, Co. G. This article includes links to original documents and other accounts of the Company.

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

View a pictorial review of the Wisconsin State Fair from 1851 when it began.

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

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Early hand-carved table made by Levi Havemann, a German immigrant to Madison, c. 1860. (Museum object #1998.21.1)
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