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

Scotch Giant's Shoe Last

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Shoe last (form) used to make boots for Frederick Shadick of Cottage Inn, Wisconsin, 1849-1854. (Museum object #1968.15.1)

Historical Essay

Parker Pen Trim Lathe

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Trim lathe used by the Parker Pen Company of Janesville, Wisconsin to manufacture pen barrels and caps, c. 1946-1999. (Museum Object #2001.51.1)

Historical Essay

Victorian Baby Carriage

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Baby carriage used by the McFetridge family of Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, c. 1871. (Museum object #1963.135.225)

Learn about the origin, and the many spellings and multiple meanings of "Wisconsin."

Read the history of Pleasant Ridge, Wisconsin, a unique a community developed by freed Southern African American slaves in the mid-19th century.

A Wisconsin Civil War Story

Read a soldier's letter describing how some soldiers generally treated chaplains during the Siege of Vicksburg.

A Wisconsin Civil War Story

Learn how Cordelia Harvey established a hospital in Madison to help Civil War soldiers

A Wisconsin Civil War Story

Read about how a lieutenant outwitted Confederate soldiers after he was captured in the fog near Petersburg, Virginia

A Wisconsin Civil War Story

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Industrial sewing machine used to make one of Wisconsin's signature products for over 40 years, 1950s-1997. (Museum object #1997.54.1A-D)
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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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