Throughout history, Madeline Island has been home to many cultures. The largest of the Apostle Islands, the Ojibwe (Chippewa) and other tribes made their home here for hundreds of years before European contact. The island was also one of the earliest areas of European exploration and settlement in the interior of North America, serving as a post for the fur trade, commercial fishing, and missionary activities. French, British, and American outposts were established on the island, each bringing unique cultural influences.
The Madeline Island Museum celebrates all of these cultures. Bella and Leo Casper opened the Madeline Island Museum in 1958, and their original collection of artifacts documenting the island’s history can still be seen today. Modern expansions were added in 1991 and 1996, adding additional exhibit and gallery space. Come explore the storied past of Madeline Island and one of the richest collections of Wisconsin history.