Molly and I spent the day down in Madison, Wisconsin. There are a number of places to visit down there, but the Wisconsin Historical Museum has always been on my list of places to visit. The museum has a wonderful building on the corner of West Mifflin Street and North Carroll Street. Admission to the museum is based on suggested donations. Although not required, the donations you give help preserve Wisconsin’s history.
Children (under 18)-$3
History Lover Members (Historical Society Membership)-FREE
The museum spans four floors, with the gift shop and information desk located on the first floor as you walk in. There are books, souvenirs, and other trinkets sold in their gift shop. I was impressed by the vast selection of Wisconsin history books they had. I thought about contacting them about stocking my Markesan history book in their store. The museum also has an online store where these publications and other wonderful gifts can be purchased.
As we made our way up to the second floor we will entered the People of the Woodlands exhibit featuring the history of Native Americans in Wisconsin. I thought it was a very interesting history that was presented. I liked seeing the tools and weapons that were used by natives, and I was pleasantly surprised to see a few arrowheads and stone-carved axes similar to what I have in my own collection.
As we continued to the third floor we entered the Frontier Wisconsin, The Immigrant State, and Making a Living exhibits. Wow! The objects and history on display blew me away. As we walked off the elevator we were greeted by a life-size replica of a dairy cow standing on a pile of nuts & bolts. Molly and I both thought it was strange, but the symbolism made sense to us after reading the description.
As we made our way up to the fourth and final floor we entered into the Wisconsin Innovations and Sense of Community exhibits. The Sense of Community exhibit has some fascinating displays featuring political movements. I liked the life-size models of famous Wisconsin politicians, and I have always had a niche for the La Follette family history and Progressivism in Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Innovations exhibit was quite amazing, and I actually have thought about blogging about ideas and inventions hatched in Wisconsin. All of the items on display were very interesting and had informative stories, but I chuckled and posed for a photo-op at the Vitamin D display. I have heard of Vitamin D being added to foods, but when I saw a Schlitz beer can that said, “Sunshine Vitamin D,” I found it amusing.
If you are in Madison, Wisconsin, you must visit this wonderful museum. I am glad I finally had the opportunity to visit and tour it. The museum has a great mix-up of visual and interactive history for children, so do not hesitate to bring your young ones to learn some history about Wisconsin. Be sure to visit other Wisconsin Historical Society museums and historic sites around the state.
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