Wisconsin 101 is launching a new project, Your Story in Objects, to showcase objects from students and other community members that tell the history of Wisconsin. We encourage you to submit objects that make you think of Wisconsin or feel like a Wisconsinite. These can range from quintessentially Wisconsin objects, like a Green Bay Packers jersey passed down in a family, to objects that tell a hidden story about your connection to Wisconsin, like a set of dishes that your family bought when they first moved to the state. We encourage creative approaches to what makes an object part of Wisconsin’s history.

Explore our step-by-step instructions, then follow this link to submit your story!

For guidance, check out this sample submission:

One of my earliest memories is my grandfather taking me to Baraboo to see the circus. This plate belonged to him – one of many items he collected that celebrated the spectacle  and excitement of Wisconsin circuses. When I was young, my grandfather and I would go through his circus collection and browse old photos, many of him sporting a bright red nose. During the late nineteenth century, circuses brought big-city entertainment to small-town crowds. A typical show included  exotic animals, high-flying acrobatics, and of course clowns. From my grandfather, I learned that Wisconsin was central within the history of circuses in the United States. Many Wisconsinites know the story of the Baraboo-raised Ringling Brothers acquiring P.T. Barnum’s “greatest show on earth”.  My grandfather was born in Sheboygan, the birthplace of the Selis-Sterling circus.  Later in life he became a member of Circus Fans Association of America, Selis-Sterling Tent #79. On our first visit to the circus, a clown (whom I later learned was a friend of my grandfather) ran into the audience and jumped on my grandma’s lap! As a six-year-old I found the whole affair rather alarming but ultimately had the time of my life with the greatest show on earth: my grandfather.

Written by Isaac Lee

This project took inspiration from the Tenement Museum’s Your Story, Our Story.