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Wisconsin Historic Sites

Wisconsin Historic Sites

It’s fun flipping through old family photo albums and seeing people from our past. The pictures often tell us something about ourselves. You can do the same when exploring the state of Wisconsin by visiting several “living photo albums”, at all 10 Wisconsin Historic Sites. These are real places where real people lived, worked and played shaping Wisconsin into what it is today.

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Wisconsin Historic Sites

In This Episode  


  • Old World Wisconsin See

    Relive the spirit of America’s heartland at Old World Wisconsin — a vivid re-creation of the working farmsteads and settlements established by European immigrants in America’s heartland. Discover teams of oxen and horses working in the fields, the farm folk preparing hearty meals over wood-burning stoves, and the heirloom plants in well-tended gardens. Stroll through the Crossroads Village and watch the town blacksmith work over the white-hot fire or chat with the keeper of the general store. Over 50 restored buildings on nearly 600 acres.

    Learn more about Old World Wisconsin
  • Circus World See

    Experience the thrill that never grows old! Explore Ringlingville – the original winter quarters of The Ringling Bros. Circus, founded in Baraboo, WI in 1884. The buildings, standing along the north bank of the Baraboo River, date from 1897 through 1918 and are the largest surviving group of original circus structures in North America. The world’s largest collections of restored circus wagons can also be seen year-round. From mid-May through August the circus comes alive with daily performances in a classic on-ring circus featuring acrobats, animals, jugglers, clowns and musical acts. The interactive KidsWorld Circus lets kids be the stars of the show

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  • Wade House Learn

    Explore the era of stagecoach travel and see a community where Yankee refinement met the Wisconsin wilderness. Stately and distinguished, the 27-room Wade House inn provided a respite for weary travelers in need of rest and sustenance. Travel by horse-drawn wagon to watch the blacksmith demonstrate his craft, see a working water-powered sawmill and stroll among the country’s most extensive collections of restored carriages.

    Learn more about Wade House
  • Villa Louis Learn

    Hercules Louis Dousman (1800 – 1868) acquired a large fortune through his various enterprises as a fur trader, lumberman, land speculator and frontier entrepreneur. In the mid-1840s the Dousman family began developing an estate on the banks of the Mississippi River at Prairie du Chien that would evolve into Villa Louis.

    Learn more about Villa Louis
  • Madeline Island Museum Learn

    Discover the magic that has drawn people to Madeline Island’s legendary shores for centuries. It includes the only remaining building of the American Fur Company complex built at La Pointe in 1835, making it the oldest structure on Madeline Island.

    Learn more about Madeline Island Museum
  • Pendarvis Play

    Discover Wisconsin’s groundbreaking community of highly-skilled Cornish miners that unearthed the mineral that changed our state. Costumed interpreters lead tours throughout six of the restored building of the original mining settlement. See how the miners lived, worked and played and understand their attraction to the verdant hills and natural gardens of Mineral Point.

    Learn more about Pendarvis
  • Stonefield See

    The roots of rural Wisconsin are on display at Stonefield, the former estate of Wisconsin’s first governor, Nelson Dewey. Stoll throughout a re-created rural village, with more than 30 shops each containing turn-of-the-century furnishings. Stonefield is also home to the State Agricultural Museum, which contains the most extensive collection of farm machinery in Wisconsin.

    Learn more about Stonefield
  • H.H. Bennett Studio See

    Combining advancements in technology with a love for natural landscapes, photographer H.H. Bennett was the man who made Wisconsin Dells famous. The museum features photographs of the unique, undeveloped natural beauty of the Dells as they were in the late 1800s. Today, all of Bennett’s prints are authentically hand printed just as he did in his 1875 studio..

    Learn more about H.H. Bennett Studio
  • Reed School Learn

    Visit the era of the one-room schoolhouse, when hard work and country life helped to shape a generation of Wisconsin citizens.

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  • First Capitol See

    The birthplace of a great state. Discover the rugged origins of the first capitol of the Wisconsin Territory, where legislators built the framework of law and order that evolved into our current state government.

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  • Black Point Estate See

    The Seipp family left their summer home fully furnished to the state of Wisconsin, and now you can tour it. And for an added treat, you’ll arrive the same way the family did a century ago… by boat.

    Learn more about Black Point Estate