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

How Madison Became a City

Madison went from a small village in 1836 to being organized and governed as a city in 20 years time

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.

Historical Essay

Madison's First Thanksgiving

Read the story of the first Thanksgiving celebrated in Madison.

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

Discover Belle Boyd, the celebrity Civil War spy who died while performing in The Wisconsin Dells.

Get to know Isaac P. Walker, the first Wisconsin resident to be a presidential candidate contender in 1850.

Historical Essay

Newhall House Hotel Fire

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

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

Historical Essay

The Story of Memorial Day

Discover the history of Memorial Day celebrations in Wisconsin.

Read about Ho-Chunk Chief Dandy's interesting and friendly interactions with white settlers in Wisconsin, even while he was a fugitive.
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