History Happens Here

Wisconsin’s New History Center

The Wisconsin Historical Society is bringing a new, 21st-century history center and cultural attraction to the people of Wisconsin and beyond.

Designed to be a welcoming beacon of inspiration and exploration, the new center set on Wisconsin’s Capitol Square in Madison will reflect a modern approach to sharing history and connecting communities.

a small girl waves to the camera while looking through binoculars

Help Your Kids Make History!

Weeks in June, July, & August
Mon – Fri | 9 AM – 3 PM

Archeological adventures, cryptid folklore, magic memories and more—there’s no shortage of mysteries to uncover at the History Maker Space this summer! Help your kids explore Wisconsin lore through two special summer camps this season: Myths and Legends and Archeology Adventures.


Iconic Location

The new history center will be located on Wisconsin’s Capitol Square in Madison, contributing to a thriving cultural district and offering a convenient location for school groups visiting from around the state.


Visit Us Now!

History Makers Tour

Bringing history directly to local communities in every region of the state through pop-up exhibits, artifact displays, public programs, art installations, and other activities

During construction of the history center, the History Maker Space at US Bank Plaza on Capitol Square will allow for pop-up exhibits, author talks, public programs and history center sneak peeks!

We continue to welcome students and community members into the iconic Library Reading Room and archives at the historic Wisconsin Historical Society headquarters building in Madison, which opened in 1900.


Recent News

History Makers Tour and Space

The History Makers Tour kicks off this month in conjunction with the public launch of the History Maker Space on Capitol Square in Madison…

Read More…

First Look Inside New History Center

We’re excited to share a first look inside the new state-of-the-art history center that is expected to be completed in late 2026…

Read More…

Temporary Program Space Secured

Temporary space has been secured to continue offering public and school group programming during the design and construction phase for the new history center…

Read More…

Get Updates About the Project!

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The History of a Museum

The Wisconsin Historical Museum opened in 1986, at the top of State Street on Madison’s Capitol Square. The building was converted from an old hardware store.

Explore the exhibits that once filled this museum and learn more about it’s history.


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Collecting, Preserving and Sharing Stories Since 1846.

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Did you hear the good news?

When Madison’s oldest post-prohibition tavern closes its doors next month, it won’t be a final goodbye. Nostalgic patrons will again have a chance to pull up a stool to the 1930s mahogany bar top when the new Wisconsin History Center opens on Capitol Square in early 2027.

The Teasdale family, fourth-generation owners of the Silver Dollar Tavern, have gifted the 43-foot-long wooden bar—along with its vintage backbar cabinetry and lighting, iconic neon signs and other memorabilia—to the Wisconsin Historical Society for use in the future history center.

The Silver Dollar Tavern was opened in 1933 by Clyde Teasdale after the end of prohibition and became a beloved Madison institution for nearly a century. The Teasdale family recently sold the property at 117 West Mifflin Street to Hovde Properties.

“It feels good to know that when we close the doors next month, the 90-year legacy of our family business will live on in Wisconsin history,” said Chuck Teasdale, fourth-generation co-owner of the Silver Dollar Tavern. “Just down the street, stories of our city and state will continue to be told around the Silver Dollar bar top.”

The bar will be a full-service, active destination within the Wisconsin History Center, welcoming guests to pull up a stool, order a beverage and continue the longstanding Wisconsin tradition of social gathering.

“We are incredibly grateful to the Teasdale family for this generous gift to the Wisconsin History Center,” said Christian Overland, Ruth and Hartley Barker Director & CEO of the Wisconsin Historical Society. “Welcoming one of the state’s oldest post-prohibition bars—and the stories and meaningful memories that come with it—into the design of a dynamic new space is an exciting opportunity.”

For more on the new history center project, visit: wihist.org/3vLvDps

📸: Silver Dollar Tavern
... See MoreSee Less

1 month ago
Did you hear the good news?

When Madison’s oldest post-prohibition tavern closes its doors next month, it won’t be a final goodbye. Nostalgic patrons will again have a chance to pull up a stool to the 1930s mahogany bar top when the new Wisconsin History Center opens on Capitol Square in early 2027.

The Teasdale family, fourth-generation owners of the Silver Dollar Tavern, have gifted the 43-foot-long wooden bar—along with its vintage backbar cabinetry and lighting, iconic neon signs and other memorabilia—to the Wisconsin Historical Society for use in the future history center.

The Silver Dollar Tavern was opened in 1933 by Clyde Teasdale after the end of prohibition and became a beloved Madison institution for nearly a century. The Teasdale family recently sold the property at 117 West Mifflin Street to Hovde Properties.

“It feels good to know that when we close the doors next month, the 90-year legacy of our family business will live on in Wisconsin history,” said Chuck Teasdale, fourth-generation co-owner of the Silver Dollar Tavern. “Just down the street, stories of our city and state will continue to be told around the Silver Dollar bar top.”

The bar will be a full-service, active destination within the Wisconsin History Center, welcoming guests to pull up a stool, order a beverage and continue the longstanding Wisconsin tradition of social gathering. 

“We are incredibly grateful to the Teasdale family for this generous gift to the Wisconsin History Center,” said Christian Overland, Ruth and Hartley Barker Director & CEO of the Wisconsin Historical Society. “Welcoming one of the state’s oldest post-prohibition bars—and the stories and meaningful memories that come with it—into the design of a dynamic new space is an exciting opportunity.”

For more on the new history center project, visit: https://wihist.org/3vLvDps

📸: Silver Dollar Tavern

Comment on Facebook

This is amazing! I hoped that WI 🍺 & 🍹would find a place in the new History Center!!

Coming to Waterloo on January 26th, it's "We Stand on Their Shoulders": A History of Wisconsin Women and Voting!

Visit the Karl Junginger Memorial Library to explore the moments when women in Wisconsin gained political rights through the Wisconsin Historical Society's traveling display.

The traveling display "'We Stand on Their Shoulders': A History of Wisconsin Women and Voting" explores moments when women in Wisconsin gained political rights and highlights a few key leaders. Covering the ratification of the 19th Amendment, 1921 Wisconsin Equal Rights Act, 1924 Indian Citizenship Act, and 1965 Voting Rights Act, the eight-panel display shares the important story of women's quest for political rights and recognition through quotes, photographs, and a timeline of events.

Click here to learn more: wihist.org/4axCQtj

📸: Ada James and Supporters of the Woman Suffrage Movement: WHI ID# 1991
... See MoreSee Less

1 month ago
Coming to Waterloo on January 26th, its We Stand on Their Shoulders: A History of Wisconsin Women and Voting! 

Visit the Karl Junginger Memorial Library to explore the moments when women in Wisconsin gained political rights through the Wisconsin Historical Societys traveling display.

The traveling display We Stand on Their Shoulders: A History of Wisconsin Women and Voting explores moments when women in Wisconsin gained political rights and highlights a few key leaders. Covering the ratification of the 19th Amendment, 1921 Wisconsin Equal Rights Act, 1924 Indian Citizenship Act, and 1965 Voting Rights Act, the eight-panel display shares the important story of womens quest for political rights and recognition through quotes, photographs, and a timeline of events.

Click here to learn more: https://wihist.org/4axCQtj

📸: Ada James and Supporters of the Woman Suffrage Movement: WHI ID# 1991