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

Driftless Area

Discover the ominously named hilly landscape environment of southwestern Wisconsin.

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.

Brief history of the Four-Wheel Drive Auto Company.

Wisconsin Civil War Regiment

Learn about the 44th Wisconsin Infantry, which served in the Civil War at Nashville and Paducah, Kentucky, and lost 58 men.

Historical Essay

Original Model Barbie Doll

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Barbie doll purchased in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, c. 1961. (Museum object #1972.17.10)

Learn about Robert M. La Follette's significant role in establishing the direct primary elections in Wisconsin.

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.

Historical Essay

Louise Williams

First Woman Notary Public

Discover the story of Wisconsin's first woman notary public Louise Williams who provided legal counsel for southern Wisconsin after the Civil War.

Discover historical details and explore our online collections related to Port Washington, Wisconsin.

Historical Essay

1930s UW Gym Suit

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

University of Wisconsin student gym suit worn by George Williams, 1933-1934. (Museum object #2005.144.1.1-2)
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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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