Wisconsin Historical Society | Explore our historical collections, research your family history, teach and learn Wisconsin history, preserve historic properties, donate, volunteer and more.

Haunted History Spooky, Scandalous & Supernatural. Explore seasonal events at historic sites.
Celebrate Hispanic Heritage and History, learn more! Wisconsin's New History Center! Get the Latest. Local History and Historic Preservation Conference, Book Tickets
The first glimpse of this canoe from 1,200 years ago, still wet from the lake a beautiful deep brown wood almost looking blue in spots.

The Mendota Canoes

Connecting Past & Present

The Wisconsin Historical Society, in partnership with Wisconsin's Native Nations, is preserving a pair of historic dugout canoes recovered from Lake Mendota. Testing revealed the first canoe is 1,200 years old and the second 3,000 years old.

They will help provide a more complete story of how Native American ancestors lived in the area thousands of years ago while also connecting their traditions to the vibrant Tribal Nations of today.

Learn More
An Ojibwa woman, Francis Mike, harvesting wild rice in a boat on Totogatic Lake.

Discover Our Historic Images

Search more than 110,000 historical images online, with more being added every day.

Or hang history in your home by purchasing one of these most-loved historic images.

Learn More
Visit and learn more about WISCONSIN CENTER FOR FILM AND THEATER RESEARCH. The Wisconsin Historical Society works closely with the WCFTR in carrying out its mission. The Wisconsin Historical Society is actively developing plans for a new 21st-century museum which will serve as a hub for statewide history education and outreach. The Wisconsin Historical Society Press has been publishing lively narratives and engaging explorations of Wisconsin for history lovers, educators and young readers, since 1855.

On This Day

1851 - First Presbyterian Church in Madison
1862 - (Civil War) Second Battle of Corinth, Mississippi, Wnds
learn more