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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When the Beaver was King

Discover how beavers transformed Wisconsin's economy in the 1650s for the next two centuries.

Historical Essay

Caine Mutiny Costume

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Naval uniform costume worn by actor Fred MacMurray in the 1954 motion picture "The Caine Mutiny." (Museum object #2009.19.1)

Historical Essay

Depression and Unemployment

Hard Times in Wisconsin

Discover the role Wisconsin played in ending the Great Depression

Historical Essay

Oneota Ceramic Vessel

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Decorated shell-tempered pot from the OT site (47-LC-0262), 1500-1625. (Museum object #1995.218.39)

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Mirro Sno-Coaster sled manufactured by Aluminum Goods Manufacturing Co. of Manitowoc, Wisconsin, 1955. (Museum object #2006.2.1)

Historical Essay

Artisans Day Ribbon

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Artisans Day Ribbon possibly worn during parade in Milwaukee, September 3, 1888. (Museum object #H12653)

Historical Essay

Land Speculation and Cities

How Real Estate Owners Created Wisconsin

Discover how land owners promoted their towns and villages for settlers and created the cities you know today.

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Badge worn to support William Jennings Bryan by Wisconsin delegate Charles Donohue at Democratic Convention, Denver, July 1908 (Museum object #1997.36.1)

The History of the Movement

Discover how Robert "Fighting Bob" La Follette, the Wisconsin Republican Party and the Progressive Movement reformed state and national government.

Wisconsin Civil War Regiment

Learn about the 17th Wisconsin Infantry, which served from 1862 to 1865 during the Civil War, losing 269 men during that service.
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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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