Tag Archive | Jean Nicolet

State Historical Museum in Madison

11-16 &  30-13

Wisconsin State Historical Museum

The Wisconsin State Historical Museum is downtown on the Capitol Square. In the museum are four floors of great artifacts of Wisconsin’s past.

Lets start our visit on the ground floor.  The gift shop is here with many wonderful items.  At this time of year a special display is up called “Tis the Season”,  Evergleam Aluminum Christmas Trees of all sizes and colors.  Beautiful!

Evergleam Trees

Evengleam Christmas trees

2nd Floor- 1st Settlers and Native American Tribes

This floor has a great many artifacts from the Native Americans that had large settlements in Wisconsin before Europeans came.  This is a replica of a home lived in at a settlement called Aztalan, now a state historic site and park. It is in Jefferson county.

Aztalan house

French explorer Jean Nicolet may have been the first European to have seen Wisconsin in 1634.  Here is a painting by Edwin Willard Deming depicting what his arrival may have looked like.

Jean Nicolet 1634

3rd Floor – Early Wisconsin Settlement by Europeans

Life on the frontier, pioneers making Wisconsin their own. Mining of lead became a big industry. Also a large group from Cornwall, England brought their stone quarrying skills to Mineral Point, their Pendarvis settlement. That is now a historic site.  Some of the masons came to Madison and built a house for someone, still occupied to this day.

Cornish-Built House in Madison

The lumber industry was and still is a big part of Wisconsin.


4th Floor- Late 19th-Early 20th Century

The rise of politics and it’s influence on the citizens of the state, as well as the women’s Suffrage Movement nearly a century ago.

Suffrage display

Governor Bob La Follette fought for the state to have fair legislation and a “transparent” government.   We recently saw his house in Madison, still occupied.

Bob LaFollette Governor in 1900

Bob LaFollette House


We hope you enjoyed your visit,  remember to stop by the gift shop for a unique gift. It helps support the museum’s continued operation.

Madison crock

Kewaunee-“Wisconsin’s Best Kept Secret”



Kewaunee was one of the harbor towns we briefly visited on the way to Door County.  This area has been settled for a very long time. It was first discovered in 1634 by Jean Nicolet, a French explorer.  Then it was a Potawatomi village. Now its a town of just under 3000 people with many amenities and attractions for visitors and residents alike. It’s 30 miles south of Door County.

We spent about 1/2 hour there that Friday  morning. We stopped at Harbor Park. The Tug Ludington is docked in this park and is available for tours. In mid-July Trout Fest is held in this park.

Tug Ludington in Kewaunee

Tug Ludington sign

The Ahnapee trailhead is in Kewaunee also.


We stopped at a small Farmers Market near the trailhead before continuing on to Door County.

Farmers Market


Related Sites

*  Chamber of Commerce

*  Farmers Market

*  Tug Ludington

*  Ahnapee State Trail