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Historical Essay

The First Madison Lodgings

From Under a Tree to Madison's Most Popular Lodge

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

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.

Wisconsin Civil War Officer, Wisconsin Attorney General and State Senator

Historical Essay

Benjamin Butts (1853-1930)

One Man's Journey from Slavery to Madison Business Owner to State Assembly Staff Member

Learn about a freed slave's intriguing story as a barber serving Wisconsin's prominent politicians, and as a well-known, beloved face in the capital city.

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Concentration camp sweater worn by Tadeusz Kowalczyk while a prisoner at Auschwitz during World War II. (Museum object #1985.92)

Historical Essay

Home Childbirth Training Kit

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

"Miniature Home Delivery Kit" used to instruct expectant mothers by the Bureau of Maternal and Child Health, c. 1938. (Museum object #1995.6.1-51)

Learn about Wisconsin's contributions to the Civil War effort, including the Iron Brigade and Old Abe, the war eagle.

Historical Essay

Madison Style Ice Boat Model

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Madison Style ice boat model built by the Bernard family, c. 1917, rebuilt 1977. (Museum object #1983.292)

Wisconsin Civil War Regiment

The 49th Wisconsin Infantry was organized at Camp Randall in Madison between December 24, 1864, and March 5, 1865.

Wisconsin Civil War Officer, Wisconsin Governor

Brief biography of Gov. Louis P. Harvey, helped organize the Republican Party in 1854, state senator from 1854-1857 and in 1862 became governor.

Historical Essay

'Forward' Statue

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

'Forward' statue by Wisconsin artist Jean Pond Miner, 1893. (Museum object #1998.1.1)

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

Historical Essay

Madison's First Thanksgiving

The Power of the Pumpkin

Read the story of the first Thanksgiving celebrated in Madison.

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

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Wooden Indian clubs used in the University of Wisconsin's Women's Physical Education Department classes, Madison, WI, c. 1900.(Museum object #1994.108.1-2)

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

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

Read about how Madison was chosen the capitol city during the first Wisconsin territorial convention

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Drum kit used by Viroqua, Wisconsin, native Butch Vig when he played with the bands Spooner, Fire Town, and the Grammy-nominated Garbage. (Museum object)

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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