Cool off with Summer Saturdays!

Get a free water bottle when you visit during our giveaways on June 4, July 2 or August 6.
Visit early – this offer is only valid while supplies last!

Cool off with Summer Saturdays!

Get a free water bottle when you visit during our giveaways on June 4, July 2 or August 6.
Visit early – this offer is only valid while supplies last!

Explore the Stories that Made Wisconsin

History is a story with many voices, always growing and evolving—a story we tell together. At the Wisconsin Historical Museum, you’ll immerse yourself in fascinating and diverse stories of people and places from Wisconsin history.

Explore the state’s diverse and dynamic past through four floors of engaging exhibits, fascinating historical objects, and hands-on experiences that focus on Native Nations and Tribes, the immigrant experience, frontier life, agriculture, industry, politics, and much more. Enter a replica of a 1,000-year-old house and examine a fur trade post. Descend into a lead mine and climb into a tractor cab. Discover the stories of Wisconsin’s political heritage, working lives, ethnic diversity, and sense of community.

MORE TIME FOR FUN!

Planning your visit is easier than ever with advance online ticketing.
Purchase your tickets today and make more time for fun on your next adventure.


MARK YOUR CALENDAR

SUMMER CAMPS

It’s a capital city escapade! Explore cultures around the world, spot Wisconsin wildlife, engage in STEM experiments, and enjoy a week of action-packed fun and learning through summer camps at the Wisconsin Historical Museum. These camps will take curious campers on exciting daily adventures around the state’s capital.

Summer Saturdays

June 4 | July 2 | August 6

Cool off and #ExploreWisconsinHistory with us!

Get a water bottle when you visit the Wisconsin Historical Museum on the first Saturday in June, July or August. Free gift can be picked up at the admission counter upon arrival. One gift per household.

Visit early – offer valid while supplies last!

Best Deal in History!

Becoming a member is the best way to explore Wisconsin history. Members get free admission to our historic sites and discounts on special events!


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Collecting, Preserving and Sharing Stories Since 1846.

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On this day in 1967, it officially became legal to purchase Oleomargarine in Wisconsin.

For decades, margarine was considered a contraband spread. Sale of the butter imposter resulted in fines or possible jail terms. Oleomargarine was sold legally in Illinois and frequently smuggled into Wisconsin.

Pictured is Clinton Bullard holding a package of butter next to a sign that reads: "No Oleomargarine or Butter Substitutes Bought or Sold in this Store," in his store at 5372 Old Middleton Road, at Glen Oak Hills, 1931.

📸: Clinton Bullard Sells No Substitutes: WHI ID# 18207
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14 hours ago
On this day in 1967, it officially became legal to purchase Oleomargarine in Wisconsin.

For decades, margarine was considered a contraband spread. Sale of the butter imposter resulted in fines or possible jail terms. Oleomargarine was sold legally in Illinois and frequently smuggled into Wisconsin.

Pictured is Clinton Bullard holding a package of butter next to a sign that reads: No Oleomargarine or Butter Substitutes Bought or Sold in this Store, in his store at 5372 Old Middleton Road, at Glen Oak Hills, 1931. 

📸: Clinton Bullard Sells No Substitutes: WHI ID# 18207

Comment on Facebook

When I was a child, my Mom handed me a paper bag and told me to take it over to my sister’s which was several blocks away. This stuck in my mind because she very sternly informed me not to talk to anyone or to open the bag for anyone. Gasp! What could be inside? Oh no! It was Oleo bought in Illinois. I was an oleo-runner! 😄

I remember my grandma taking about going to IA as well. Similarly, I come back home to take Spotted Cow back to my out-of-state home. 😁

I sooo remember this! My Dad worked at a creamery would not allow it in our house!

We carpooled to Iowa with relatives to stock up...you couldn't buy oleo in Minnesota either.

Does anyone remember the mixing of the yellow/orangish packet of liquid into that fat mess to make the Oleomargarine yellow?

My parents would bring back cases of bootleg margarine on our return trips from the Upper Peninsula.

One thing for sure was….It never tasted like the margarine we can buy today!!! We used to buy margarine at first, but. Either of us liked it, but also Wisconsin could not sell gallon bottles of rhine wine (which tasted almost as bad as the margarine)but was another item you could get there!!

Now, I go to South Beloit for other things...

My dad smuggled margarine from a relative’s grocery store in Michigan. We haven’t bought margarine in years. Butter just tastes better!

Still refuse to buy anything but real butter!

Butter is always the best!

Always made trips to New Albin to buy oleo.

Lol! I remember the drives to the Zion IGA. Patricia Strom Green and then stopping to eat at the Howard Johnsons down the street.

Remember those Sunday drives to Illinois Beth Ann ?

What a disgraceful time in our history.

Memories of Sen. Gordon W Roseleip

I remember having to squeeze the bag of white oleo to distribute yellow food coloring in it because it at first it couldn't be the same color as butter.

Not at my moms house!

We lived on a dairy farm, we never, ever had anything but butter on the table ❤️

Debbie Springer show this to your father-in-law 😂

Amanda Nedweski 😁

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On this day in 1966. the National Organization for Women was founded by 28 women attending the Third National Conference of the Commission on the Status of Women in Washington, D.C.

One of these women was Sparta, Wisconsin native Kathryn Clarenbach. At the time, Clarenbach was head of the Wisconsin Commission on the Status of Women. Kathryn Clarenbach was elected NOW's first Chair of the Board and Betty Friedan, NOW's first President.

📸: Group of Women with ERA and NOW Signs: WHI ID# 147430

The National Organization for Women was first housed in Clarenbach's faculty office at UW-Madison campus. NOW's first organizing conference was held four months later in Washington, D.C
... See MoreSee Less

2 days ago
On this day in 1966. the National Organization for Women was founded by 28 women attending the Third National Conference of the Commission on the Status of Women in Washington, D.C. 

One of these women was Sparta, Wisconsin native Kathryn Clarenbach. At the time, Clarenbach was head of the Wisconsin Commission on the Status of Women. Kathryn Clarenbach was elected NOWs first Chair of the Board and Betty Friedan, NOWs first President. 

📸: Group of Women with ERA and NOW Signs: WHI ID# 147430

The National Organization for Women was first housed in Clarenbachs faculty office at UW-Madison campus. NOWs first organizing conference was held four months later in Washington, D.C

Comment on Facebook

They should of been in their kitchens.

Coming up on July 6th, join the Madeline Island Museum for a walking tour exploring the dynamic history of this popular Wisconsin tourist destination.

Madeline Island and the town of La Pointe have been popular vacation destinations for decades, but the rich history behind this beautiful landscape spans centuries and features many cultures.

Join the Madeline Island Museum for a walking tour exploring this dynamic history during an hour-long, 3/4 mile journey through downtown La Pointe. Guests will be surprised by how deep and rich the history of the island actually is as they experience events and places we can only see whispers of now. Learn about fires, wind, building migrations, and interesting residents who lived and worked on the island.

To learn more and to book tickets, click here: wihist.org/3HmMYa0
... See MoreSee Less

3 days ago
Coming up on July 6th, join the Madeline Island Museum for a walking tour exploring the dynamic history of this popular Wisconsin tourist destination.

Madeline Island and the town of La Pointe have been popular vacation destinations for decades, but the rich history behind this beautiful landscape spans centuries and features many cultures.

Join the Madeline Island Museum for a walking tour exploring this dynamic history during an hour-long, 3/4 mile journey through downtown La Pointe. Guests will be surprised by how deep and rich the history of the island actually is as they experience events and places we can only see whispers of now. Learn about fires, wind, building migrations, and interesting residents who lived and worked on the island.

To learn more and to book tickets, click here: https://wihist.org/3HmMYa0