Old Maps of Wisconsin – Wisconsin Historical Maps – Historic Maps of Wisconsin

Old maps of Wisconsin, Wisconsin historical maps, historic maps of Wisconsin. All maps free online. Wisconsin historic gazetteers, 1800s Wisconsin, old Wisconsin atlases, old Wisconsin county maps, vintage Wisconsin maps.

The works below are in three sections; ‘Old Wisconsin Maps and Atlases’, online ‘Collections of Old Wisconsin Maps and Atlases’ and ‘Old Wisconsin Gazetteers’ (geographical directories). See the right column for more info about this website.

Old Wisconsin Maps and Atlases

Facsimile of a Map of Father Marquette

Wisconsin Historical Society
1673

Between May and September 1673, Father Jacques Marquette and Louis Joliet crossed what is now Wisconsin and traveled down the Mississippi River as far as Arkansas before returning; they were the first Europeans to do so. This is a facsimile of a map believed to have been drawn by Father Marquette describing their travels. Recognizable features include Green Bay, the Fox and Wisconsin River portage, and the Mississippi River, called here the Conception.
– Summary from Wisconsin Historical Society site. Old maps of Wisconsin.

Map of Wisconsin-Minnesota region, extending from Lake Superior and Lake Michigan west to Lake du Bois, White Bear Lake, and Goose Lake

Wisconsin Historical Society
Created by Carver, Jonathan 1769

This map is an early-20th-c. photostat of a manuscript in the British Library. From 1766-1768, Carver traveled down the Fox-Wisconsin route, up the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers, and north to Grand Portage on Lake Superior, returning to Mackinac along the lakeshore. In 1769 he went to London, where he drew this map to illustrate his travels. A revised version of this map appeared when his book was published in 1778. – Summary from Wisconsin Historical Society site. Old maps of Wisconsin.

Plan of Captain Carver’s Travel in the Interior Parts of North America in 1766 and 1767

Wisconsin Historical Society
Created by Carver, Jonathan 1778

This map comes from Jonathan Carver’s book Travels Through the Interior Parts of North America. The book and accompanying maps, which can be found on this website at the ‘Great Lakes – Explorers and Travelers‘ page, played a major role in how people thought of the western side of the continent until expeditions were able to travel there themselves. Carver never made it much past the Mississippi, but accounts and tales that he gathered were used to make a map that went all the way to the Pacific Ocean. – Summary from Wisconsin Historical Society site. Wisconsin historical maps.

Map of the Territories of Michigan and Ouisconsin

Wisconsin Historical Society
Created by Farmer, John 1830

John Farmer established his map company in Detroit in 1825, and his popular, accurate and detailed maps publicized the states of the Northwest Territory and encouraged settlement. The multitude of detailed notes on this map refer to explorers like Stephen Long and Henry Schoolcraft, name many Indians, and point out many geographic and cultural features.
– Summary from Wisconsin Historical Society site. Wisconsin historical maps.

A Map of a Portion of the Indian Country lying East and West of the Mississippi River

Featherstonaugh. 1835

This includes all the rivers in the region, and the approximate locations of Native American tribes. Old Wisconsin maps, historic Wisconsin maps.

Map of the Territory of Wisconsin

Wisconsin Historical Society
Creator: Burr, David H. 1836

“This map shows various Indian land cessions in the Wisconsin Territory, which in 1836 included what is now Iowa, Minnesota, and parts of North and South Dakota. It accompanied a government report recommending the establishment of a government surveyor’s office west of Lake Michigan to survey the ceded lands and make them available for sale to settlers.”
– Summary from Wisconsin Historical Society site. It serves as a Wisconsin Indian tribes map, showing approximate locations of some major tribes as of the early 1830s. Wisconsin historical maps.

Map of the Settled Part of Wisconsin Territory

Rumsey
Creator: Young, James Hamilton 1838

Ten years before statehood, settlement in Wisconsin was almost entirely restricted to the area south of the Fox and Wisconsin Rivers. The inset map shown here depicts the original extent of the territory, including parts of what are now Minnesota, Iowa, and North and South Dakota.

Map of Historic Wisconsin Territory. Old maps of Wisconsin.

State of Wisconsin

Wisconsin Historical Society
Creator: Lapham, Increase Allen 1852

Increase A. Lapham’s many activities included map-making, here represented by one of the first maps of Wisconsin published in the state. This map is based on the reports of U.S. General Land Office surveyors, and incorporates the most recent information on roads, topography and settlements. – Summary from Wisconsin Historical Society site. Old Wisconsin maps.

Colton’s Township Map of the State of Wisconsin

Wisconsin Historical Society
Creator: Colton, George Woolworth 1854

This 1854 brightly-colored map exhaustively marks the townships, county towns and villages of Wisconsin. It also shows rivers, canals, railroads, and plank roads. Each county’s population, farms and productive establishments in 1840 and 1850 are listed in the top left corner of the map, along with a chart showing the state’s caucasian, free colonists and slave population in the two respective years. – Summary from Wisconsin Historical Society site. Historic maps of Wisconsin.

Sectional Map of Wisconsin

David Rumsey Map Collection
Chapman, Silas

Silas Chapman published an 1855 map of southern Wisconsin to be used with his 1855 edition of Handbook of Wisconsin (on the Wisconsin General History page of this website). This 1856 edition of his map extends to the northern part of the state. Old Wisconsin map.

Map of Milwaukee County

Wisconsin Historical Society
Creator: Lipman, Louis 1858

This 1858 map of Milwaukee County and eastern Waukesha County shows sections, towns, cities and villages, roads, railroads, railroad stations, post offices, lakes and streams, prairies, wetlands, and selected churches, schools, taverns, and justices of the peace. An inset shows the plat of the village of Wauwatosa.
– Summary from Wisconsin Historical Society site. Map of Wisconsin counties.

Redding and Watson’s Map of Racine County, Wisconsin from Actual Surveys

Wisconsin Historical Society
Creator: Redding, T. B. 1858

This 1858 map of Racine County, Wisconsin, shows land ownership and acreages, the township and range grid, towns, cities and villages, roads, railroads, schools, mills, churches, cemeteries, residences, marshes, timber lots, and lakes and streams. Text provides a description of the county and a history of the city of Racine and illustrations depict buildings in Racine. Inset maps and business directories are provided for Racine, Rochester, Burlington, and Waterford and a table lists the value of manufactures in Racine for 1855. – Summary from Wisconsin Historical Society site. Historical Wisconsin map.

Bicycle Road Map of Wisconsin, Section 1, 1897

Bicycle Road Map of Wisconsin, Section 2, 1897

Rumsey Map Collection
League of American Wheelmen 1897

The two maps together cover southeast Wisconsin. The Map is in blue. The legend shows type of road. The roads are rated by two different scales: Numbered : 1=Level, 2=Hilly, 3=Very Hilly; Lettered – A=Good, B=Medium, C=Bad. Old bicycle map, historical Wisconsin road map.

Map of the City of Madison, Dane County, State of Wisconsin

Wisconsin Historical Society
Creator: McCabe, P. 1855

Madison was booming in the 1850s, helped by the efforts of developer Leonard Farwell. When famous journalist Horace Greeley visited Madison, Farwell printed 10,000 copies of this map, prominently featuring Greeley’s approving comments and extolling the city’s many advantages. – Summary from Wisconsin Historical Society site. Old maps of Wisconsin, Old Madison Wisconsin map.

Map of Milwaukie

Wisconsin Historical Society
Creator: Martin, Morgan Lewis 1833

In July 1833 Morgan L. Martin, land promoter and speculator, visited the site of Milwaukee and drew this map, the earliest known depiction of the city. Notable features include the trading posts of Jacques Vieau amd Solomon Juneau. In October 1833 Martin and Juneau formed a partnership to develop the site.- Summary from Wisconsin Historical Society site. Old Milwaukee map, historic Milwaukee map.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Wisconsin Historical Society
Creator: Robertson, George James 1854

Although published in New York, this bird’s-eye view of Milwaukee is extremely faithful to detail. Drawn in 1853 and published in 1854, it shows more than 1,000 buildings. In 1937 the Milwaukee Sentinel issued a facsimile of it on which they identifed nearly 70 structures. This original version contains no explanatory text or identifications.
– Summary from Wisconsin Historical Society site. Old Milwaukee map, historic Milwaukee map.

View of the City of Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Wisconsin Historical Society
Publisher: J.T. Palmatary 1856

This is a bird’s-eye view drawing of the city of Milwaukee in 1856. It depicts houses, churches, buildings, roads, trees, waterways and the Lake Michigan harbor. Map of historic Milwaukee.

Caspar’s Guide and Map of the City of Milwaukee

Directory of Streets, house numbers and electric car lines. with special diagrams of the 28 car lines

Milwaukee: Caspar 1904

Also, “Interesting facts in and around Milwaukee”, public buildings, blocks, halls, parks, gardens, points of interest etc. Includes “a complete list of all Electric Street Car Lines, their starting points, routes, terminals, time tables, fares, etc. of the entire Trolley system and every tramway operated in and about Milwaukee”. Wisconsin historical maps.

Metropolitan Milwaukee 1956

Rumsey Map Collection
Shell Oil Company 1956

Originally published as a roadmap for distribution at Shell service stations. Historical Wisconsin road maps.

Map of the La Crosse and Milwaukee Rail Road and Connections

Library of Congress American Memory
Colton, Joseph Hutchins, NY 1855

Map of the northeastern and north-central United States indicating major drainage, larger cities, state boundaries, and the railroad network. Old railroad maps.

Map of the United States’ Lead Mines on the Upper Mississippi River

Wisconsin Historical Society
Created by Chandler, R. W. , Cincinnati: 1829

This map was published in 1829 by R.W. Chandler, a pioneer settler of Galena, Ill., to illustrate the Lead Region. It is based on an earlier map by surveyor Lucius Lyon. The map shows the locations of many of the early lead mines (diggings), the names of pioneer settlers, and extols the possibilities of the region.
– Summary from Wisconsin Historical Society site. Old Wisconsin maps.

Indian Land Cessions in Wisconsin. Wisconsin Map 1

Indian Land Cessions in Wisconsin. Wisconsin Map 2

18th Annual report of the Bureau of American Ethnology: Schedule of Treaties and Acts of Congress

Smithsonian Institution: Bureau of American Ethnology
GPO 1895

The 18th Annual report of the Bureau of American Ethnology contains, in the latter portion of Volume 2, a “Schedule of Treaties and Acts of Congress Authorizing Allotments of Land in Severalty”. Included in this is a “Schedule of Indian Land Sessions” that provides summary descriptions of each case throughout the U.S. in which a tribe ceded land (whether by sale or not) to the U.S. Federal Government. The Schedule is followed by maps of every U.S. state that contained such land cessions. These maps show the locations of land ceded. A number on each land cession corresponds to an entry in the “Schedule of Indian Land Sessions”, which begins on page 648 of the Annual Report.

How to use this: Begin on one of the Wisconsin maps at the link in this entry (which are also found at pages 845 and 851 of the Annual Report). Note the number of the land cession you wish to read about, and search for that number in the Schedule that begins on page 648 of the Annual Report. This Schedule is organized as a table that spans 2 pages, so look on odd-numbered pages for the land cession number that corresponds with the map location. The preceding page contains a description for that cession, plus a reference to the legal statute. Map of Indian land cessions in Wisconsin.

Indian Lands Ceded by 1848 & Indian Lands Today

Wisconsin Historical Society
Wisconsin Historical Society 2008

Two maps are displayed here. The first shows the location of Indian Lands today (as of approximately 2008), or current Native American reservations in Wisconsin. The second Wisconsin Indian tribes map shows each cession of land by a tribe to the U.S. government between the end of the Black Hawk War and Wisconsin statehood. “This map was reproduced from a page in ‘Wisconsin: Our State, Our Story’, the Wisconsin Historical Society’s elementary school textbook.” -Wisconsin Historical Society site. Map of Indian lands ceded in Wisconsin.

Interactive Map of Wisconsin County Formation History

Map of US.org

Scroll part-way down this webpage for the interactive online map, which shows the changing county borders over time, from 1790 to 1961. You can also see the county boundaries in each census year from 1790 to 1920. Maps of Wisconsin counties.

Collections of Old Wisconsin Maps and Atlases

Milwaukee Map Collection

Milwaukee Public Library

45 maps of Milwaukee, virtually all from 1914-1974. Old maps of Milwaukee, maps of historic Milwaukee.

Maps of Milwaukee – 1836 to the Present

University of Wisconsin Milwaukee Libraries

Approximately 77 maps of Milwaukee and surrounding area, from the city’s founding in the 1830s until 2015. Old maps of Milwaukee, maps of historic Milwaukee.

Sanborn Maps of Milwaukee, 1894 and 1910

University of Milwaukee Libraries

The Digital Sanborn Maps of Milwaukee 1894 & 1910 are two fire insurance atlases featuring detailed color maps of Milwaukee. Produced by the Sanborn Map Company, the 1894 atlas includes four volumes, consisting of 450 map sheets and the 1910 atlas includes eight volumes, consisting of 830 map sheets. Sanborn maps were designed to assist fire insurance agents with insuring property. They contain a great deal of information about buildings and infrastructure. Old maps of Milwaukee, maps of historic Milwaukee, Sanborn maps of Milwaukee.

Wisconsin Historical Maps and Atlases

Historic MapWorks

Historic MapWorks provides an enormous collection of online maps and atlases. According to the site, the state of Wisconsin collection contains 1,484 atlases, and within the atlases are over 105,000 historical maps, illustrations and histories. Old Wisconsin atlases, old Wisconsin county maps.

Maps and Atlases Collection

Wisconsin Historical Society

3,700 maps and atlases in a searchable collection.

54 Panoramic maps or Birds-eye views of various Wisconsin cities and towns

Library of Congress
Various publishers and years of publication

Many of these are highly detailed pictures showing all buildings. The viewer at this site enables high-resolution zooms. Historic Wisconsin city maps.

Old Maps Online

This is a collaborative portal for accessing a number of online map collections worldwide. U.S. collections include;
The David Rumsey Collection
Harvard Library Collection
New York Public Library Collection
Leventhal Map Center at Boston Public Library
North Carolina Digital Heritage Center

Native American Reservations in Wisconsin

Wisconsin Historical Society
Various publishers and years of publication

Here are 66 historical maps that appeared in search results for “Indian Reservation” at the Wisconsin Historical Society’s online collection of maps and atlases. These range in type from maps that include a Native American reservation as a detail, to a series of maps for a particular reservation. Included are the Bad River Indian Reservation, Lac Court Oreilles Indian Reservation, Keshena Indian Reservation, Red Cliff Indian Reservation, La Pointe Indian Reservation, Lac du Flambeau Indian Reservation, Menominee Indian Reservation, Brotherton Reservation, Stockbridge-Munsee Reservation, and the Stockbridge Reservation. Maps of Native American reservations in Wisconsin.

Old Wisconsin Gazetteers

Wisconsin Gazetteer, containing the names, location and advantages of the counties, cities, towns …

villages, post offices, and settlements, together with a description of the lakes, water courses, prairies, and public localities, in the state of Wisconsin, alphabetically arranged

Hunt, John Warren
Madison: Brown 1853

This gazetteer contains a surprising depth of detail on many Wisconsin towns at mid-century. Old Wisconsin gazetteers.

Wisconsin State Gazetteer and Business Directory 1891-2, Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Chicago: R. L. Polk 1891

Old Wisconsin gazetteers.

Centennial 1876 directory of Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin, containing full directories of Fond du Lac, Ripon, Waupun, Brandon, Oakfield, New Cassel, Calvary, St. Cloud, Dundee, Calumet, Rosendale …

and other centers of trade and all the farming portion of Fond du Lac County; each in a department by itself, arranged in alphabetical order, and contained in one closely printed volume. Old Wisconsin gazetteers.

Fond du Lac: M. G. Tousley, 1876

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