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Explore the Sites in a New Way | BIG History | Wisconsin Historical Society

Explore the Sites in a New Way | BIG History

Old World Wisconsin's Clausing barn, and the text reads Explore HIstory in a New Way

Celebrating Big Moments: Explore History in a New Way

2020 is all about celebrating BIG moments in Wisconsin history. You and your family can explore history this summer through new experiences at the Society’s historic sites and museums. Nine of the Wisconsin Historical Society's historic sites and museums are offering reservation-based special tours and programs in 2020. Opening dates and hours vary by location, so see below for details. Sites offering a variety of reservation-based tours and programs that go beyond our traditional experiences include Old World Wisconsin, Villa Louis, Stonefield, Circus World Museum, Wade House, Black Point Estate & Gardens, Madeline Island Museum, Wisconsin Historical Museum and H.H. Bennett Studio & Museum. With exclusive onsite experiences, walking tours, virtual events, and in-person shopping, there is so much to explore! Plan your adventure through time below.

All 2020 Events

H.H. Bennett Studio celebrates 145 years

H.H. Bennett was known as “The man who made the Dells famous.” A celebrated 19th-century landscape photographer, Bennett is best known for his photography of the natural wonders of the Wisconsin Dells region, which helped build the area into the tourist destination we know it for today. Bennett first opened his photo studio in the Dells, then known as Kilbourn City, in 1865. A new studio was constructed in 1875, which is now the home of the H.H. Bennett Studio & Museum, a historic site owned and operated by the Wisconsin Historical Society. Celebrate the 145th anniversary of this historic studio by visiting for a guided tour. You can even get your own “portrait struck” on metal using the same historic methods and equipment Bennett used. Can’t make it to the studio? That’s ok! You can have your favorite photo transformed into a stunning tintype and sent right to you.

Travel #BackInTimeOnline

Take a virtual walk through the historic sites! Explore the people, places, items, and moments that make our historic sites and museums special through our YouTube Series “Travel Back In Time."

See All Videos

Explore All Historic Sites & Museums

Black Point Estate, a view of the tower and the rest of the building, the clouds are beautiful and really frame the building.

Black Point Estate & Gardens

A circus cart on a lawn, bright red, yellow, and orange colors.

Circus World

An old fashioned camera is set up facing a dramatic photo backdrop

H.H. Bennett Studio & Museum

Wood building with antlers attached. A sign reads Museum

Madeline Island Museum

A group of people bail hay out of an old fashioned cart

Old World Wisconsin

Pendarvis house at dusk,  orange colored brick and white trim windows and doors. A stone wall lines the house next to the road. The lamp is lit.


A older white couple holding hands and walking towards the Stonefield buildings


The Villa Louis Manor on a sunny day, victorian architecture on elegant display

Villa Louis

People visiting the Arts and Crafts Fair at Wade House

Wade House

Walking by the Capitol Square

Wisconsin Historical Museum

Inside the Reed School classroom, with vintage desks and a chalkboard

Reed School

The two historical buildings of Wisconsin's First Capital

First Capitol

Historic Sites Merch

Shop our online store for merchandise related to our historic sites. 100% of the proceeds support the Society.

Online Store
Oxen Team from Old World Wisconsin, black oxen with a Old World Wisconsin embroidered in the side.

Old World Wisconsin Oxen

Seipp's Beer Stein vintage metal looking, beige color old school illustration

Seipp's Beer Stein

Merino wool yarn, a gray color, in a woven basket

Wade House Wool

WHS Historic Sites Quiz

WHS Historic Site Quiz

Historic Sites Quiz

Do you think you can identify all of our historic sites and museums from a single photo? Take the quiz to find out.

Support the Preservation of Wisconsin's History

Make a big impact

Make a BIG impact by supporting the Society's efforts to continue to collect, preserve, and share stories about the LGBTQ community and all Wisconsin history.

Explore Wisconsin's History

You can find out more about our history in these pages focusing on other monthly celebrations!

Explore Black History in Wisconsin

Black History

Explore Women's History in Wisconsin

Women's History

Explore WHS's Response to COVID-19

History Is Happening

Explore Earth Day History in Wisconsin

Earth Day History

Explore Pride Month History in Wisconsin

Pride History

Explore the Women's Suffrage Centennial History in Wisconsin

Women's Suffrage Centennial

Explore the Wisconsin's History during WWII

Wisconsin During WWII

Explore the Wisconsin's Political History

Political History

Explore Hispanic Heritage Historyin Wisconsin

Hispanic Heritage History


History is a story with many voices, always growing and evolving — a story we tell together.

Let us know if there are ways we could improve!