Exhibits at the Wisconsin Historical Society Headquarters Building
Native Americans have lived along the shores of Madison's lakes for 12,000
years. Learn about their communities and see centuries-old artifacts from
the area's first people.
Architect August Kutzbock
German-born architect August Kutzbock settled in Madison in 1855. He designed
at least 19 of the finest buildings in the city, including the third Capitol
building and Governor Farwell's famous octagon house. The exhibit highlights
remaining Kutzbock buildings and several buildings no longer in existence.
More than any other single individual Leonard Farwell made Madison a city. Learn how he did it.
From Village to City
It took an act of the Legislature for Madison to become a city. See the
original bill and other documents.
The Wisconsin Historical Society: In the Beginning
Founded in 1846, the Wisconsin Historical Society was housed in the Baptist
Church. Its first director, Lyman Draper, was actively documenting the
city in 1856. See the walnut bookcase that housed the Historical Society's
Who Lived in Madison?
Yankees, Irish, Norwegians, Germans — they all had a hand in founding Madison.
Life and Death in Madison
Life was fragile, education was important, and city services were meager. Get a taste of life in Madison at its founding.
Politics was a Spectator Sport
The Wisconsin Supreme Court decided who would be governor after a disputed election in 1855. Slavery was an important issue. For Madisonians the world of politics was at their doorstep.
Early Madison Photography by John S. Fuller
A new gallery of Madison photographs by John S. Fuller allows us literally to see the past.
For More Information
Contact the Wisconsin Historical Museum at:
608-264-6555. You can also view the brochure (PDF,
The Wisconsin Historical Society and the city of Madison are presenting special
programs throughout 2006 to honor the city's sesquicentennial. For further
information, visit http://webapp.cityofmadison.com/150/calendar