Madison Central High School yearbooks, Dane County Historical Society

A digital collection of Madison Central High School yearbooks from the Dane County Historical Society has been added to the Recollection Wisconsin syllabus. Madison Central High School was Dane County’s oldest high school, opening as Madison High School in 1853 with 90 students and only one teacher. It became Madison Central High School in 1922 following the opening of a new East High School, and changed to Central-University High School in 1965 when intern teachers from the University of Wisconsin were welcomed to the teaching staff.

The Tychoberahn yearbook was first published in 1900, its title derived from “Taychoperah,” the name given by the Ho Chunk people to the four lakes around Madison. Alternate titles — Orange and Black and Mirror Magazine — appeared briefly in the 1930s and 40s.

When the school closed its doors in 1969, Principal William Marsh donated many of the yearbooks to the Dane County Historical Society. Gaps in the collection were filled in by donations from Central High School alumni, who also funded the digitization of the yearbooks by Northern Micrographics of La Crosse. The digital collection includes all volumes from 1900-1969, except 1905, when no yearbook was published, and 1931, which has not been located.


Group portrait of the Madison High School football team, 1902. Dane County Historical Society.

Group portrait of the Madison High School football team, 1902. Dane County Historical Society.

Girls in cooking and sewing classes, 1940. Dane County Historical Society.

Girls in cooking and sewing classes, 1940. Dane County Historical Society.

Madison Central High School concert band, 1954. Dane County Historical Society.

Madison Central High School concert band, 1954. Dane County Historical Society.

Page of senior portraits from the final Tychoberahn yearbook, published in 1969. Dane County Historical Society.

Page of senior portraits from the final Tychoberahn yearbook, published in 1969. Dane County Historical Society.


Browse and search the Madison Central High School yearbooks collection.

Read memories of Madison Central High School collected from alumni by the Dane County Historical Society, or submit your own.

–Post contributed by Emily Nelson.

2 Comments

  1. Gail Wendt:

    This was a wonderful discovery! I’m putting together a history of my father’s life and this helped with his time at Central High. My father, Donald Wendt, was proud of his time as a teacher at Central and the beginning of his “career” as a student council advisor and organizer. I have many fond memories of my own of Central. My brother and I would help my dad over the summer when he was in charge of the Textbook Dept. I can remember racing the book cart up and down the empty halls… until my dad came out and told us to “knock it off.” I also took several summer school classes at Central in typing, driver’s ed, and beginning band. It was a wonderful place…

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