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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Historical Essay

Valentine's Callers

Stories and characters related to the arrival of the telephone in Wisconsin thanks to Janesville's Richard Valentine.

Historical Essay

The First Madison Lodgings

Discover the story surrounding the planning and construction of the first building erected in Madison.

Historical Essay

Pierce, Hattie, 1829-1944

Born into slavery, Hattie Pierce lived 115 years and was able to fully experience both life before and after emancipation.

Historical Essay

Bonne Fete, Sieur La Salle!*

Robert de La Salle was on the first expedition to the upper Great Lakes and went on to claim the Mississippi River watershed in the name of France.

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.

Learn about the most successful Utopian community in Wisconsin and the interesting fact that it was born in the wake of a failed doomsday prediction.

Historical Essay

Fort Koshkonong

Learn the story surrounding the building of Fort Koshkonong by General Henry Atkinson.

Historical Essay

Newhall House Hotel Fire

Read about the tragic fire that burned down Milwaukee landmark, The Newhall House Hotel, leaving 76 dead.

Historical Essay

The Budget Deficit of 1921

Read about Gov. John J. Blaine's plan to deal with the Budget Deficit of 1921.
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