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The Physical Geography of Wisconsin

All history happens in some place. The names, facts, and dates in our history books sometimes leave the impression that the past exists only on paper between two covers, but the past is actually all around us. On at least one morning during the past 14,000 years, Indians pursued game just outside your window. With more than 100 centuries of human history behind us, crossing any bridge or hiking in any park we share the space with a Jesuit missionary or French fur trader. Less than a mile from where you're sitting, 150 years ago a pair of surveyors made... more...

Original Documents and Other Primary Sources

Link to article: Increase Lapham surveys Wisconsin's trees, 1858  Increase Lapham surveys Wisconsin's trees, 1858
Link to article: Memorable weather from 19th century Madison  Memorable weather from 19th century Madison
Link to book: A clergyman locates the Biblical Garden of Eden in Wisconsin, 1886  A clergyman locates the Biblical Garden of Eden in Wisconsin, 1886
Link to book: A Dells Tourist Brochure, 1932  A Dells Tourist Brochure, 1932
Link to book: A British scientist makes a geological tour in 1835.  A British scientist makes a geological tour in 1835.
Link to book: Increase Lapham describes territorial Wisconsin for new settlers.  Increase Lapham describes territorial Wisconsin for new settlers.
Link to book: American Indian legends about Wisconsin localities.  American Indian legends about Wisconsin localities.
Link to book: An eyewitness history of the New Richmond tornado, 1899  An eyewitness history of the New Richmond tornado, 1899
Link to images: A field in a glaciated part of Wisconsin, 1960  A field in a glaciated part of Wisconsin, 1960
Link to images: A cliff in the driftless region of Wisconsin.  A cliff in the driftless region of Wisconsin.
Link to images: Increase Lapham examining a meteorite, ca. 1868  Increase Lapham examining a meteorite, ca. 1868

Primary Sources Available Elsewhere

Link to book: An 1847 travelogue by a visiting British geologist  An 1847 travelogue by a visiting British geologist
Link to book: Increase Lapham describes Wisconsin's animal and plant life in 1852  Increase Lapham describes Wisconsin's animal and plant life in 1852
Link to book: An Illustrated History of Wisconsin Through 1874  An Illustrated History of Wisconsin Through 1874

Related Links

Visit our archaeology Web pages
Discover classroom resources available from our Office of School Services
Search our catalogs for materials on this topic that aren't yet available online.
Borrow books about this topic through our interlibrary loan service
Borrow manuscripts about this topic through our Area Research Center network.
A recent article on ancient copper mining in Northern Wisconsin
Learn about other topics from our new book, Wisconsin History Highlights
Information about Wisconsin's land for fourth grade students
Take a driving tour of the Driftless Region

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