Location: Wisconsin Historical Museum; Madison, WI
Wooden spools of thread with metal plates, iron axe head, skein of yarn and a box of thimbles; just a sample of the wares for sale long ago. This series of photos is taken through the window of the Fur Trading Post on second floor. Sometimes it pays to look past the big picture to find the details and isolate the subject.
The Wisconsin Historical Museum is located on Madison’s Capitol Square, open Tuesdays-Saturdays and has four floors to explore.
Gift Shop, Theater for presentations/movies, special events and often a temporary exhibit- currently Senator Gaylord Nelson and Earth Day Movement
earliest Wisconsin history, including Wisconsin Indians and first European explorers/voyageurs
frontier life to present, including lead mine, logging camp, farming (kids love driving the tractor), tourism, manufacturing, immigrant photos (past and present, a favorite of mine)
third floor continues with exhibits on entertainment- county fair, circus, theater, tavern; Wisconsin politics and a historical look at today’s life. Also includes a gallery for temporary exhibits- currently Odd Wisconsin;Warning! Objects Are More Intriguing Than They First Appear! including a 7-foot bowie knife, pink flamingo, banjo-ukulele, feces bucket (that’s right… a poop pail), bull semen parachute, 160 year old toast! Each with their own unusual story attached.
I have been a volunteer at the museum for about 15 years, usually helping out with special events. Past temporary exhibits that have been favorites of mine- Toy Stories (toys from 1940 to present, with stories from famous Wisconsinites), Wisconsin Folk Art, Chris Farley, Wisconsin Olympic Speedskaters (with Eric Heiden’s 5 gold medals), and Icon Wisconsin with the very first cheesehead hat made from Ralph’s mother’s sofa cushion).