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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.

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Oldest known surviving license plate in Wisconsin, issued to a Mount Horeb man, 1905. (Museum object #1966.493.1)

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Casey FitzRandolph’s racing skin worn during the 2003-2004 World Cup speed skating events. (Museum object #2005.146.1)

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Minicom III TTY machine made by Ultratec, Inc., Madison, Wisconsin, c. 1986-1989. (Museum object #2004.58.2a-h)

Learn more about the 1904 fire that destroyed the third Wisconsin State Capitol.

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

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

Wisconsin Civil War Officer, U.S. Marshall, Business Owner

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Appointment book made of ivory, used by Wisconsin politician and businessman Cassius Fairchild of Madison, WI, during the 1850s. (Museum object #1971.19)

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.

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

Wisconsin Civil War Regiment

The 20th Wisconsin Infantry was organized at Camp Randall in Madison and mustered into service on August 23, 1862.

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

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

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)

Read about the creation of the Wisconsin territory, the formation of a territorial government, and the move of the capital from Belmont to Madison.

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

John Muir's Clockwork Desk

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Cockwork study desk built by naturalist John Muir while at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1861-1863. (Museum object F1998.85.1)

Wisconsin Civil War Regiment

The 47th Wisconsin Infantry Regiment was organized at Camp Randall in Madison and mustered into service on February 27, 1865.

Brief bio of Richard Theodore Ely, professor, economist, social reformer and author who played a votal role in shaping the "Wisconsin Idea."

Wisconsin Civil War Regiment

The 5th Wisconsin Infantry was organized at Camp Randall in Madison and mustered into service for three years on July 12, 1861.
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