Gallery Show Announcement

Gallery Show Announcement

We’re excited to announce an upcoming gallery show! Our Wisconsin Storytime project will be on display at the Central Madison Public Library in the Diane Endres Ballweg Gallery (3rd Floor). The exhibit will run for the entire month of September with an Opening Reception on Thursday, September 8, from 6–8:30 pm. A cash bar will […]

Jean Nicolet

Jean Nicolet

THE STORY: Way back in history—before Marquette and Joliet’s expeditions and before the French Fur Trade ever existed in Wisconsin—there was a man named Jean Nicolet. Nicolet was THE first European to explore what would become Wisconsin. Jean Nicolet, who was born in France in 1598, immigrated to Canada in 1618 to live among the […]

The Mining Boom

The Mining Boom

THE STORY: As important as agriculture, logging and brewing were to the development of the Wisconsin we know and love, so too was mining. During the early 1800s, the mining boom was the driving force in Wisconsin’s economy. It also brought Wisconsin the nickname “Badgers,” referring to the way miners burrowed shelters into hillsides. In […]

Prairie du Chien and the War of 1812

Prairie du Chien and the War of 1812

THE STORY: During the War of 1812, the United States began to realize how important Prairie du Chien was in the fur trade and the Mississippi River-Great Lakes transportation route. The settlement had been part of the U.S. for years, but no one was sent that far west to occupy it, so the British had […]

Violent Femmes

Violent Femmes

THE STORY: Some may be surprised, but Wisconsin has a pretty hot music scene. There have been numerous big time musicians and bands who were raised on Wisconsin beer and cheese—Steve Miller, Liberace, the BoDeans, Garbage, Al Jarreau, Clyde Stubblefield (James Brown), Robin Zander (Cheap Trick), and more recently Bon Iver and PHOX. Not to […]

The Joshua Glover – Sherman Booth Affair

The Joshua Glover – Sherman Booth Affair

THE STORY: In the years preceding the Civil War, many Wisconsin residents denounced slavery as morally wrong, with a few becoming ardent abolitionists. One man defiantly opposed to the Fugitive Slave Act was Sherman Booth, editor of an abolitionist newspaper based in Waukesha. In his newspaper he asked all persons “with a human heart in […]

Nelson Dewey

Nelson Dewey

THE STORY: Nelson Dewey, Wisconsin’s first governor, should have a statue in Southwest Wisconsin—and he does. He had a lot of political and business success throughout his life, and was known all around as a “friend of the poor” and for his generosity. Dewey was born and raised in New England and studied law at […]

Charles de Langlade

Charles de Langlade

THE STORY: George Washington may be the”Father of our Country,” but do you know who the “Father of Wisconsin” is? It’s only fitting that the man recognized as the “Father of Wisconsin,” was born the son of a fur trader and an Ottawa woman. Our state’s “Father,” Charles de Langlade, was born in 1729 at […]

Snowmobile Capital of the World

Snowmobile Capital of the World

THE STORY: Almost a century ago, a small-town Wisconsin outdoorsman with a crippled foot decided to even the playing field with his hunting comrades. Actually, he turned the tables on them. As a result, Wisconsin winters have forever changed. In 1924, Carl Eliason of Sayner, Wisconsin began creating the “Motor Toboggan”—father of the modern snowmobile. […]

The Day the Music Died in Wisconsin

The Day the Music Died in Wisconsin

THE STORY: In Wisconsin history, the day the music died refers to not one, but TWO infamous and fatal crashes—Otis Redding and Stevie Ray Vaughan. On December 10, 1967, Otis Redding and his band, the Bar-Kays, were scheduled to play a show in Madison, Wisconsin. They had taken Redding’s personal plane from Cleveland, despite heavy […]

Teddy Roosevelt Shot in Milwaukee

Teddy Roosevelt Shot in Milwaukee

THE STORY: On October 14, 1912, Teddy Roosevelt was in the middle of his campaign trail—giving 15 to 20 speeches per day. That day he started in Chicago, then headed to Racine and finally Milwaukee. What Roosevelt didn’t know was that John Schrank, an unemployed saloonkeeper, had been trailing the campaign since New Orleans, waiting […]

Birthplace of the Republican Party

Birthplace of the Republican Party

THE STORY: Wisconsin has always been a political hotspot and in 1854 it was no different. In Ripon, WI a small group of citizens met to fight the imminent spread of slavery. This meeting lead to the birth of the Republican Party and put Ripon on the map. During the 1850s, slavery was a growing […]

The Great Peshtigo Fire

The Great Peshtigo Fire

THE STORY: On October 8, 1871, the worst forest fire in American history wiped out much of Northeastern Wisconsin. The Great Peshtigo Fire destroyed millions of dollars worth of property and killed an estimated 1,500 people, possibly as many as 2,500. Somehow, the fire has been largely forgotten, due in part to it occurring the […]

Governor Dodge and the Wisconsin Territory

Governor Dodge and the Wisconsin Territory

THE STORY: Before there were craft breweries in every zip code, even before the wild bratwurst was domesticated, Wisconsin was a land of plenty—which is what lured the Chippewa, the Winnebago, and European voyageurs and fur traders. After a few armed misunderstandings with the French and the Indians, Wisconsin ended up as part of the […]