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Here Are The Oldest Photos Ever Taken In Wisconsin And They're Incredible
2024/06/07

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The Library of Congress is a treasure trove of digital files that preserve the history of our country. I spent most of a day combing its files for any very old photos of Wisconsin still in existence, and they’re kind of amazing. Most of these  date from 1880 to 1910, and it’s amazing to see how much some places have changed and how some have stayed remarkably the same.

Here are some of the most amazing, historic Wisconsin photos taken during the state’s early years.

1. View of Trempealeau, 1874

The oldest photo I could find that wasn't just a sitting portrait.

2. Entering Green Bay, ca. 1880-1899

Wisconsin's first city has changed a bit in the ensuing century.

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3. Devil's Lake , ca. 1880-1899

With all that's different in the rest of the pictures, that this view is basically unchanged over 100 years is kind of heartening.

4. Pitcher John Freeman on an 1889 cabinet card.

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