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Related Histories

  • a color photo showing a swiss style bank barn painted white with a lean-to on one side

    The Evolution of a Swiss Barn

    The expansion of Wisconsin’s dairy industry in the 20th century not only altered the economy of the state, but it also influenced the structure of the very barns that housed the bovine champions of the …

  • A group of women posing with bicycles

    The 1890s Bicycle Craze in Wisconsin

    Bicycles entered the United States on the East Coast from Europe in 1869. By 1880, bicycling in the U.S. had become so popular that the League of American Wheelmen (LAW) was founded. One of LAW’s …

  • A man hauling pipes in a wagon over deeply rutted and muddy roads

    Wisconsin Road Conditions

    One of the biggest impediments to the progress of the popularity of bicycling in the late 19th century was bad roads. Wisconsin roads in the 1880s were “plagued by mud, poor signage, and crumbling bridges …

  • A group photo showing a gathering of men behind an American and a Swiss flag

    The Swiss Roots of America’s “Dairyland”

    When the wheat crop failures of the late nineteenth century jeopardized the incomes of many of Wisconsin’s immigrant farmers, the region’s Swiss population transitioned to a trade that they knew from the Old World: dairying …

  • Slavery in Wisconsin

    It may come as a surprise to learn that during the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries slavery existed in the region that would become the state of Wisconsin. Over this period, thousands of enslaved African …

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Image courtesy of the Wisconsin Historical Society (Image ID 61521)