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

The Remarkable History of the Telephone

Learn how Wisconsin resident Richard Valentine's invention would change the world

The Conflict of Modern and Traditional Medicine

Discover the history of smallpox in Wisconsin and the public's reaction against hospitalization

Historical Essay

The Story of Memorial Day

Celebrations of Memorial Day Throughout History

Discover the history of Memorial Day celebrations in Wisconsin.

Historical Essay

Madison's Castle

In the late 1800s there was a castle on the shore of Lake Mendota OTHER than the Red Gym. This is that castle's mysterious story.

The Virgin Mary Appears to an Illiterate Peasant Girl

Learn about the first and only manifestation of the Virgin Mary in the United States near Green Bay, confirmed by the Vatican.

Evidence of First Feasts

Take a look at some first hand accounts of the ways Native Americans of Wisconsin celebrated their own Thanksgiving ceremonies.

Historical Essay

English Tudor Logging Camp

The story of how the lumber town of Elchon, WI came to be as aesthetically pleasing as any main street in England or France.

The story of Capt. Jonathan Walker whose hand was branded with "S.S." (for "slave stealer") for assisting fugitive slaves.

Historical Essay

More Bank Failures (1857)

Discover the effects that the Panic of 1857 had on La Crosse.

Historical Essay

When Beer Was Almost Illegal

A Popular Speaker Sways Opinion

Discover the connection between P.T. Barnum and the 1853 statewide referendum on liquor sales.
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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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