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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Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Hammered copper pike from Interstate Park Bison site, Polk County, Wisconsin, c. 1000-4000 B.C. (Museum object #1956.3099)

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

Petersylvania, Wisconsin

A Bizarre Story of Land Prospecting Gone Awry

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

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Inauguration gown worn by Wisconsin First Lady Sue Ann Thompson at her first inauguration ball, 1987. (Museum object #2003.61.1a-b)

Historical Essay

Milwaukee Sewer Socialism

Read about the era in the late 19th and early 20th centuries when Milwaukee became the first Socialist city in the United States.

Historical Essay

Mining in Northern Wisconsin

Read about iron and coppermining in the Lake Superior region and on the Gogebic Range in northern Wisconsin and Michigan in the 19th century.

Historical Essay

Bull Semen Parachute

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Parachute used by the University of Wisconsin to deliver fresh bull semen to farmers in rural areas, 1944-1947. (Museum object #1993.7)

Wisconsin Civil War Regiment

Read about the 43rd Wisconsin Infantry from Milwaukee, which served in the Civil War 1864-1865 and lost 75 men in service.

Learn about how the 1st Wisconsin Cavalry helped capture Confederate President Jefferson Davis in 1865.

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Garnet velvet evening gown worn by Wisconsin First Lady Charlotte McAleer Kohler to President Eisenhower's 1953 Inauguration Ball. (Museum object #1960.211
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Have Questions?

If you have questions about historical research, please contact our Library Reference Services staff by phone at 608-264-6535 or by email.

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