WISCONSIN HISTORICAL SOCIETY

Covid-19 Updates: The Wisconsin Historical Society historic sites are closed. See a full list of COVID-19 Closures and Events here.

Self-Guided Adventures

Self-Guided Adventures

Explore generations of Wisconsin’s stories as you create your own day of hands-on history. Walk or take the trams, go fast or slow, start in the 1840s or the 1910s! Make your day your way as you explore 600 acres and 60 buildings that bring immigrant and migrant stories to life. Shop in the general store, help in the kitchens, ride a vintage tricycle, learn to spin wool, or just stroll through a beautiful heirloom garden. The day, and the adventure, is yours!


Old World Wisconsin
MAP & GUIDE

SITE MAP

PLACES TO EXPLORE

Catch Wheel Fever!

Ride a 19th-century tricycle or high-wheeler, run the bases, listen to music from wax cylinders, and see how groups of immigrants with diverse backgrounds came together as you explore stories of connecting people and communities.

Featured spaces
• Base Ball Field (1870s)
• Badger Wheelmen’s Clubhouse (1890s)
• Caldwell Farmer’s Club Hall (1900s)

Crossroads Village

The village is bustling with opportunities to explore small-town life. Feel the warmth of the forge, taste old-fashioned soda water, shop for supplies, try on some new footwear, sit in the pews, and explore the homes of Irish and Yankee immigrants as you experience stories of adapting and taking risks.

Featured spaces
• St. Peter’s Church (1880s)
• Irish Immigrant Home (1880s)
• Four Mile House (1870s)
• Yankee Home (1870s)
• General Store (1880s)
• Blacksmith Shop (1880s)
• Yankee Farm (1880s)
• Shoe Shop (1880s)
• Harmony Town Hall (1870s)

 

Life on the Farms

Roll up your sleeves and help with chores, smell the flowers blooming in the gardens, explore the farmsteads of Polish, Pomeranian, and Hessian immigrants, and meet the animals and livestock that helped settlers work the land as you explore stories of the ingenuity of rural life.

Featured spaces
• Pomeranian Immigrant Farm (1880s)
• Hessian Immigrant Farm (1870s)
• Pomeranian Immigrant Farm (1860s)
• Polish Immigrant Home (1900s)
• United Brethren Church (1910s)

Scandinavian Homesteads

Attend a schoolhouse lesson,  get crafty, walk through the gardens, and experience how immigrants struggled to establish themselves on the frontier through stories of creating a home and surviving in a new place.

Featured spaces
• Raspberry School (1900s)
• Norwegian Settlers Cabin (1840s)
• Norwegian Immigrant Farm (1860s)
• Danish Immigrant Home (1890s)
• Finnish Immigrant Farm (1910s)