Permanent Exhibit: Crossroads
Funded in part by:
The permanent exhibit in our visitor center, entitled "Crossroads," brings our powerful and pivotal story to life, weaving the people, events, and material culture into the bigger picture of history. The crossing point—or portage—between the Fox and Wisconsin rivers has been a keystone of travel and migration ever since post-glacial waters carved their channels. Cultures intersected here. Ideas, values, beliefs, and ways of life converged here. Complex issues and difficult decisions were faced here. History of national significance was forged right here at the crossroads.
We strive to tell the story with balance, representing various viewpoints and contributions so that visitors may understand the complexity of the time period and exercise critical thinking as they consider the lessons taught by history. Multimedia and tactile sensory items are incorporated into the exhibit to augment the experience. Our goal is to tell our story in a manner that is engaging, immersive, comprehensive, clear, and educationally accessible to visitors of all ages.
Permanent Outdoor Exhibit: A Landscape of Families
The Historic Indian Agency House and the Ho-Chunk Nation Museum and Cultural Center have come together to educate through the powerful material encapsulated in the Ho-Chunk annuity register penned by sub-agent John H. Kinzie in 1832. The result is an outdoor exhibit entitled, "A Landscape of Families," which now stands on the site where the census was taken nearly two hundred years ago. A special website has also been created to enhance the exhibit with in-depth, interactive content. It is our joint hope that you will enjoy your engagement with this material, but even more, that you will come away changed by the insights gained.
Permanent Outdoor Exhibit: Walking Wawa’ąįja
A brand new permanent outdoor exhibit will be installed in the spring of 2024 at our trailhead just off the parking lot. The Fox-Wisconsin portage was at the epicenter of efforts to force Ho-Chunk families from their ancestral homes. "Walking Wawa’ąįja" (pronounced Wau-wau-on-een-jau) guides visitors through the portage's forced expulsion history and traces Ho-Chunk voices through the trauma.
While our online video series (below) highlights the Treaty Trail of Ho-Chunk families who were pushed hundreds of miles beyond their homeland, "Walking Wawa’ąįja" expands on the experiences of those who remained in or returned to Wisconsin during the era of forced displacement. These families lived as fugitives in their own homeland.
Watch a supplemental video series tracing the path of Ho-Chunks whose forced expulsion experience took them hundreds of miles away from the portage.
Funded in part by:
Funded in part by Wisconsin Humanities, with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the State of Wisconsin. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this project do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Exhibit produced by the Historic Indian Agency House in collaboration with the Ho-Chunk Nation Museum & Cultural Center
Permanent Exhibit: Rediscovering Fort Winnebago
A local family story going back to at least the 1880s claimed that an unusual barn on a Town of Marcellon farm was actually a barracks which had been moved from the site of Fort Winnebago. For all its historical importance, little remains of Fort Winnebago today beyond an archaeological footprint. None of the timber frame garrison buildings were thought to be in existence. Could a fort structure have eluded the public eye for nearly 200 years, surviving into modern times? By 2021, time was of the essence to investigate the story surrounding what had now become an unassuming pile of old timbers residing in a cow pasture. Does the remarkable tale stand the tests of buildings archaeology and historical research? Examine the evidence.
and Michael & Sally Connelly in honor of NSCDA-WI President Barbara J. Meyer
Permanent Outdoor Exhibit: Stories of the Land Interpretive Trailway
Stories of the Land is a signage-guided educational walk through a portion of our property with the goal of engaging hikers with the fascinating history that happened on the soil beneath their feet.
Permanent Outdoor Exhibit: Informational Kiosk
Learn about the historical context of the Indian Agency House at Fort Winnebago.
2023 Special Exhibit: Common Threads (Held Over - 2024)
Cultural creative arts are, by definition, expressions of creativity invented in the mind and informed by the culture in which an artist lives. They are powerful tools of expression and can be distinctive marks of cultural identity. Yet when we stand back, these diverse creative expressions blend into a beautiful tapestry attesting to our shared human experience. Survey creative artifacts from various cultures which converged at the portage in 1832. Enhance your understanding through the accompanying "Common Threads" video series (below).
Funded with grants from