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Learn about the canal era and the use of steamboats on Wisconsin waterways and lakes in the 19-th century.

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.

Jesuit Missionary

Read about the Jesuit priest who established several missions in Wisconsin during the 17th century.

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

Wisconsin History textbooks will tell us that Jean Nicolet was the first white person to reach our state, but there's evidence that he was the second.

A Short Biography

Influential Early Wisconsin Settlers

Learn about the first extreme winters in Wisconsin suffered by explorers and settlers in the 17th through 19th centuries, with links to other articles

Historical Essay

Campers' Wash-Up Kit

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Wash-Up Kit made by the Bay West Company, Green Bay. Distributed by the Yankee Paper and Specialty Co. of Menasha in the 1920s. (Museum object #1998.6.2)

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

Bra Flag

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Land of the Freed-up Woman American flag banner made from bras, 1971. (Museum object #2000.79.1)
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