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

Fort Koshkonong

A Fortification That may not Have Existed

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

Historical Essay

Labor Day in Wisconsin

Beyond Beer and Brats

Explore the history of Labor Day celebrations in Wisconsin.

A Priest Follows Another Priest's 300-Year-Old Path to Death

Learn how Rev. A. A. A. Schmirler traced the path Fr. Rene Menard took in 1661 down northern Wisconsin's rivers to the likely spot of his death.

Historical Essay

The Birth of Lake Delton

Learn about the rise of Wisconsin Dells tourism, and read about the creation and collapse of the man-made river it was founded on.

Historical Essay

Newhall House Hotel Fire

The Tragedy of January 10, 1883

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

Historical Essay

Madison's Fur Traders

The First White Men in Madison

The first white residents of Madison were fur traders Wallace Rowan, Olivier Ammel and Michel St. Cyr.

The Civil Right's Leader Shows his Support

Discover the connection Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King had with the 1960s protests in Milwaukee.

Speculating on a Dream

Join cantankerous British geologist George Featherstonehaugh as he travels to Madison in 1837 and finds things not as he expected them to be.

Historical Essay

Milwaukee's Maverick Aviator

Milwaukee's William Mitchell went from a court-martial for insubordination to being widely understood to be the father of the modern U.S. Air Force.
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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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