Winona County Historical Society

Winona County Historical Society The Winona County Historical Society operates The Winona County History Center in downtown Winona, MN; The Bunnell House in Homer; and The Rural Heritage Museum in St.

Charles. We also offer a wide range of activities! Learn more at winonahistory.org Winona County History Center museum and archives admission is $5 adults, $3 students, free for WCHS members, children 7 and younger, students doing research projects. The Art Gallery and Museum Shop are always free to explore! WCHS museums are also Blue Star Museums offering free admission to military members and their families May 15 - Labor Day annually.

Operating as usual

Horse drawn fire engine Number 2The man sitting on the the right side of the wagon next to the dog is Lt. Herman Seebold...
09/16/2021

Horse drawn fire engine Number 2
The man sitting on the the right side of the wagon next to the dog is Lt. Herman Seebold. #waybackwednesday

Horse drawn fire engine Number 2
The man sitting on the the right side of the wagon next to the dog is Lt. Herman Seebold. #waybackwednesday

Now Open! The time-honored skills put into these pieces are breathtaking. The Art of Fine Furniture is free and open to ...
09/11/2021

Now Open! The time-honored skills put into these pieces are breathtaking. The Art of Fine Furniture is free and open to the public now through October 2 at the History Center. Sponsored by WNB Financial. Check out all the details!

Hey! Join us on a Walking Tour this weekend!Historic Downtown Winona, Saturday, 10:30 a.m.Windom Park Historic Dist., Su...
09/11/2021

Hey! Join us on a Walking Tour this weekend!
Historic Downtown Winona, Saturday, 10:30 a.m.
Windom Park Historic Dist., Sunday, 1 p.m.
$10/$6 members, water included. Leaving from the History Center. www.winonahistory.org/to-do

The artists have been busy today installing an amazing Art of Fine Furniture show. Meet many of them and get a first loo...
09/10/2021

The artists have been busy today installing an amazing Art of Fine Furniture show. Meet many of them and get a first look tomorrow, Saturday, 1 -3 p.m. during the opening! A huge thank you to TiAnna DeGarmo for curating and coordinating the show. #winonamn #artgallery

The artists have been busy today installing an amazing Art of Fine Furniture show. Meet many of them and get a first look tomorrow, Saturday, 1 -3 p.m. during the opening! A huge thank you to TiAnna DeGarmo for curating and coordinating the show. #winonamn #artgallery

Hey area artisans, Handmade Neighborhood applications are open online and are due today! www.winonahistory.org/handmaden...
09/10/2021

Hey area artisans, Handmade Neighborhood applications are open online and are due today! www.winonahistory.org/handmadeneighborhood We are extending the deadline through the weekend but those on time will be given priority. We are looking forward to a safe in-person sale this year and already see many awesome applications!

Hey area artisans, Handmade Neighborhood applications are open online and are due today! www.winonahistory.org/handmadeneighborhood We are extending the deadline through the weekend but those on time will be given priority. We are looking forward to a safe in-person sale this year and already see many awesome applications!

The Voices from the Past Cemetery Walk will feature Scandals, Scoundrels and Skulduggery II this year! Take a self-guide...
09/09/2021

The Voices from the Past Cemetery Walk will feature Scandals, Scoundrels and Skulduggery II this year! Take a self-guided walk through Winona’s historic and beautiful Woodlawn Cemetery to hear community actors portraying people from our past.

This year we hear from those that lived hard lives, made some poor choices and those who protected the community from the seeder side of Winona. In 2012 this theme was a huge hit and we are excited to bring more stories of scandals, scoundrels and skulduggery. A few of those we will hear from are: some ladies of Winona’s red light district, Queenie LaVaque, Lano Dupont; “Big Moose” - Anton Pellowski; Dorothy Haner, Winona’s first female investigator and Victor Gage (1908 – 1985) who was also known as “Wyoming” - to name a few. Explore Winona's beautiful arboretum cemetery, Woodlawn, ablaze in autumn colors, as you hear actors at 8 sites.

The Voices from the Past Cemetery Walk will feature Scandals, Scoundrels and Skulduggery II this year! Take a self-guided walk through Winona’s historic and beautiful Woodlawn Cemetery to hear community actors portraying people from our past.

This year we hear from those that lived hard lives, made some poor choices and those who protected the community from the seeder side of Winona. In 2012 this theme was a huge hit and we are excited to bring more stories of scandals, scoundrels and skulduggery. A few of those we will hear from are: some ladies of Winona’s red light district, Queenie LaVaque, Lano Dupont; “Big Moose” - Anton Pellowski; Dorothy Haner, Winona’s first female investigator and Victor Gage (1908 – 1985) who was also known as “Wyoming” - to name a few. Explore Winona's beautiful arboretum cemetery, Woodlawn, ablaze in autumn colors, as you hear actors at 8 sites.

09/04/2021
Yackel & Janke, manufacturers of wagons and all kinds of repairing, Lewiston, MN, undated.  Yackel & Janke remained in p...
09/03/2021

Yackel & Janke, manufacturers of wagons and all kinds of repairing, Lewiston, MN, undated. Yackel & Janke remained in partnership until 1918.
#ThrowbackThursday

Yackel & Janke, manufacturers of wagons and all kinds of repairing, Lewiston, MN, undated. Yackel & Janke remained in partnership until 1918.
#ThrowbackThursday

#greatriverroad #MNHistory #localhistory September is Drive the Great River Road Month!  Follow the green pilot’s wheel ...
09/01/2021
Great River Road of Minnesota | Homepage

#greatriverroad #MNHistory #localhistory September is Drive the Great River Road Month! Follow the green pilot’s wheel signs to unique Mississippi River towns, stunning scenic reaches, and glimpses of history. Find ideas at www.mnmississippiriver.com

Minnesota's Great River Road is a netwok of roadways offering a bounty of river experiences in a parkway setting. It spans 565 miles, 43 communities, 20 counties, three tribes and six unique destination areas, providing public access to and promoting America's Great Mississippi River.

It's back....and is going to be a-may-zing!
08/31/2021

It's back....and is going to be a-may-zing!

It's back....and is going to be a-may-zing!

Take a closer look at the historical places and people of Winona with a walking tour! Brush up on your local trivia for ...
08/27/2021

Take a closer look at the historical places and people of Winona with a walking tour! Brush up on your local trivia for prizes. All tours are an hour long and cost $10, $6 for WCHS members. Bottled water is included. Sign up by calling 507.454.2723 ext. 0. Sponsored by WNB Financial.

Autumn Schedule! >>>

Historic Downtown Winona
Saturdays: September 11, 18, October 16
10:30 a.m. starting from History Center.

Special Halloween Downtown Tours
October 30 and 31
1 p.m. starting at the History Center.

Windom Park Historic District
Sundays: September 12, 19, October 17
1:00 p.m. starting from the History Center.

Take a closer look at the historical places and people of Winona with a walking tour! Brush up on your local trivia for prizes. All tours are an hour long and cost $10, $6 for WCHS members. Bottled water is included. Sign up by calling 507.454.2723 ext. 0. Sponsored by WNB Financial.

Autumn Schedule! >>>

Historic Downtown Winona
Saturdays: September 11, 18, October 16
10:30 a.m. starting from History Center.

Special Halloween Downtown Tours
October 30 and 31
1 p.m. starting at the History Center.

Windom Park Historic District
Sundays: September 12, 19, October 17
1:00 p.m. starting from the History Center.

The Rural Heritage Museum will be open 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. this Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 28-29 during St. Charles Gladiolu...
08/26/2021

The Rural Heritage Museum will be open 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. this Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 28-29 during St. Charles Gladiolus Days.

The Rural Heritage Museum will be open 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. this Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 28-29 during St. Charles Gladiolus Days.

WCHS tour guides have been showing off Winona and its vibrant past to visitors from the American Queen Steamboat Co. and...
08/25/2021

WCHS tour guides have been showing off Winona and its vibrant past to visitors from the American Queen Steamboat Co. and America Cruise Lines. Passengers have been loving Winona! River cruises will begin docking again Aug. 30 through Nov. 6. Check out our News page for more information and the full schedule. www.winonahistory.org/news

The Rural Heritage Museum will be open this weekend 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Sat. & Sun. in St. Charles during Gladiolus Days. P...
08/24/2021

The Rural Heritage Museum will be open this weekend 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Sat. & Sun. in St. Charles during Gladiolus Days. Plan your visit at winonahistory.org

The Rural Heritage Museum will be open this weekend 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Sat. & Sun. in St. Charles during Gladiolus Days. Plan your visit at winonahistory.org

08/23/2021
08/22/2021
Just one more week to see "Wild Knowing" at the History Center!
08/21/2021

Just one more week to see "Wild Knowing" at the History Center!

The History Hunt is a wrap! The $500 grand prize winner was Ronald Mueller and Theresa Redig of Goodview! Congrats and t...
08/20/2021

The History Hunt is a wrap! The $500 grand prize winner was Ronald Mueller and Theresa Redig of Goodview! Congrats and thank you to all who participated, were part of the hunt and Lewiston Auto for their sponsorship.

The History Hunt is a wrap! The $500 grand prize winner was Ronald Mueller and Theresa Redig of Goodview! Congrats and thank you to all who participated, were part of the hunt and Lewiston Auto for their sponsorship.

08/20/2021
Winona County JailThe jail was built in 1913 and destroyed in 1979 to make room for the Law Enforcement Center, southwes...
08/19/2021

Winona County Jail
The jail was built in 1913 and destroyed in 1979 to make room for the Law Enforcement Center, southwest corner of 3rd & Washington streets.
#waybackwednesday

Winona County Jail
The jail was built in 1913 and destroyed in 1979 to make room for the Law Enforcement Center, southwest corner of 3rd & Washington streets.
#waybackwednesday

The Handmade Neighborhood annual artisan sale is scheduled for November 20 and artist applications are open online now! ...
08/14/2021
Handmade Neighborhood Artist Portal

The Handmade Neighborhood annual artisan sale is scheduled for November 20 and artist applications are open online now! Area artists can apply through Sept. 10 online at www.winonahistory.org/handmadeneighborhoodartists

Apply to sell at Handmade Neighborhood. Apply Online August 1 - September 10, 2021 for the November 20, 2021 sale. ​ Tips for a great application: PLEASE READ ALL the application...

There is one week left to do the Great Winona County History Hunt! Explore some interesting historic places across the c...
08/13/2021

There is one week left to do the Great Winona County History Hunt! Explore some interesting historic places across the county. Return your map by August 20 for a chance at $500! Maps are $10 each and you can get $10 off a new WCHS membership with a map purchase. Stop by the History Center today! Open daily 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Sponsored by Lewiston Auto. www.winonahistory.org/to-do

There is one week left to do the Great Winona County History Hunt! Explore some interesting historic places across the county. Return your map by August 20 for a chance at $500! Maps are $10 each and you can get $10 off a new WCHS membership with a map purchase. Stop by the History Center today! Open daily 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Sponsored by Lewiston Auto. www.winonahistory.org/to-do

WCHS staff and visitor service volunteers were trained on using an AED machine and basic CPR this morning. Thank you Hel...
08/11/2021

WCHS staff and visitor service volunteers were trained on using an AED machine and basic CPR this morning. Thank you Helen and Winona Health!

WCHS staff and visitor service volunteers were trained on using an AED machine and basic CPR this morning. Thank you Helen and Winona Health!

Circus tent near Diamond Joe's Dock.#takemebacktuesday
08/10/2021

Circus tent near Diamond Joe's Dock.
#takemebacktuesday

Circus tent near Diamond Joe's Dock.
#takemebacktuesday

The Great Winona County History Hunt Starts TODAY!August 6 - 20, 2021  $10 per map Go on a scavenger hunt to find the mi...
08/06/2021

The Great Winona County History Hunt Starts TODAY!
August 6 - 20, 2021 $10 per map

Go on a scavenger hunt to find the missing history facts for 15 historic locations across the county. Fun for all ages! This event was a huge hit last year and we are excited to bring it back this year with new stops. Maps are available for $10 each at the History Center starting August 6 through August 20. Find and fill in the missing facts on the map by August 20, 4 p.m. to be part of the $500 cash prize drawing! Each location will have a sign with the fact outside and you can choose to explore more at each location if available.

Plus, Get a NEW WCHS membership for $10 Off with your map purchase!

Happy history hunting! Sponsored by Lewiston Auto.

The Great Winona County History Hunt Starts TODAY!
August 6 - 20, 2021 $10 per map

Go on a scavenger hunt to find the missing history facts for 15 historic locations across the county. Fun for all ages! This event was a huge hit last year and we are excited to bring it back this year with new stops. Maps are available for $10 each at the History Center starting August 6 through August 20. Find and fill in the missing facts on the map by August 20, 4 p.m. to be part of the $500 cash prize drawing! Each location will have a sign with the fact outside and you can choose to explore more at each location if available.

Plus, Get a NEW WCHS membership for $10 Off with your map purchase!

Happy history hunting! Sponsored by Lewiston Auto.

Join us on a Walking Tour this week!Friday 2 p.m. - Windom Park Historic Dist. Saturday 2 p.m. - Historic Downtowneach l...
08/05/2021

Join us on a Walking Tour this week!
Friday 2 p.m. - Windom Park Historic Dist.
Saturday 2 p.m. - Historic Downtown
each leave from the History Center and are about an hour long. $10 per person. Water included. Win some trivia prizes!

The Great Winona County History HuntAugust 6 - 20, 2021  $10 per mapGo on a scavenger hunt to find the missing history f...
08/03/2021

The Great Winona County History Hunt
August 6 - 20, 2021 $10 per map

Go on a scavenger hunt to find the missing history facts for 15 historic locations across the county. Fun for all ages! This event was a huge hit last year and we are excited to bring it back this year with new stops. Maps are available for $10 each at the History Center starting August 6 through August 20. Find and fill in the missing facts on the map by August 20, 4 p.m. to be part of the $500 cash prize drawing. Each location will have a sign with the fact outside and you can choose to explore more at each location if available. Happy history hunting! Sponsored by Lewiston Auto.

The Great Winona County History Hunt
August 6 - 20, 2021 $10 per map

Go on a scavenger hunt to find the missing history facts for 15 historic locations across the county. Fun for all ages! This event was a huge hit last year and we are excited to bring it back this year with new stops. Maps are available for $10 each at the History Center starting August 6 through August 20. Find and fill in the missing facts on the map by August 20, 4 p.m. to be part of the $500 cash prize drawing. Each location will have a sign with the fact outside and you can choose to explore more at each location if available. Happy history hunting! Sponsored by Lewiston Auto.

YMCA fire, 1946#MemoryMonday
08/03/2021

YMCA fire, 1946
#MemoryMonday

YMCA fire, 1946
#MemoryMonday

Julius Ebe's Saloon, Confectionary and Summer Garden at 700-706 West Fifth Street at the corner of Ewing Street in Winon...
07/17/2021

Julius Ebe's Saloon, Confectionary and Summer Garden at 700-706 West Fifth Street at the corner of Ewing Street in Winona. They served all types of beverages and ice cream. The man standing by the edge of the garden fence is Julius Ebe, the owner.
#FlashbackFriday

Julius Ebe's Saloon, Confectionary and Summer Garden at 700-706 West Fifth Street at the corner of Ewing Street in Winona. They served all types of beverages and ice cream. The man standing by the edge of the garden fence is Julius Ebe, the owner.
#FlashbackFriday

07/13/2021

Address

160 Johnson St
Winona, MN
55987

Opening Hours

Monday 10am - 4pm
Tuesday 10am - 4pm
Wednesday 10am - 4pm
Thursday 10am - 4pm
Friday 10am - 4pm
Saturday 10am - 4pm
Sunday 10am - 4pm

Telephone

(507) 454-2723

Products

Exhibits, Classes, Rental Facilities, Research and a Gift Shop!

History Center Admission: $5 Adults, $3 Students, WCHS members, Students doing research and children 7 and younger are free.

Laird Lucas Library & Archives
in the History Center
Open Weekdays 10-12 and 1 -5

Stop by the Museum Shop too!

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About WCHS

The Winona County Historical Society is a private non-profit educational institution, and our mission is to be dedicated to the collection, preservation, exhibition and interpretation of materials that document the history of Winona County, Minnesota. The Society currently has over 1400 members and 60 active business supporters. The Society operates three museums. The Winona County History Center in downtown Winona houses the main museum facility, Laird Lucas Library and Archives, Society offices and program and event spaces. The Bunnell House is located in Homer and the Rural Heritage Museum is on the Winona County Fairgrounds in St. Charles.

The Winona County Historical Society was founded in June 1935 at a meeting of interested citizens in the Winona County Courthouse. The first president was William Codman, a local attorney and amateur historian. The first secretary was Mildred Sebo, a local 4-H leader in the county. The year before, Mildred organized a Winona County historical pageant in Whitewater State Park that was very successful, and it was from that event the idea of starting the Society emerged.

The Society had its first headquarters in the courthouse and later acquired space in the Arlington Club and at Phelps Hall at Winona State University. During and after WWII the Society was relatively inactive. In 1954, a group of Winona citizens sought to revitalize the Society and approached Dr. Lewis I. Younger, a local physician and well known collector. Dr. Younger eagerly took on the responsibility, and under his leadership over the next 21 years, he helped make the Society one of the most active and well-respected county organizations in the state. During his tenure the Society’s offices and collection were moved into the second floor of the Lumberman’s building across from the Winona Public Library. The Society’s current home in the former National Guard Armory building (1915) was purchased and given to the Society by the Laird-Norton Co. in 1971 and dedicated in 1973. In 2009 construction started on the 12,000 sq. ft. modern Laird Norton Addition, designed by award winning architect Joan Soranno of the firm Hammel, Green and Abrahamson. With a historic $1.5 million challenge grant from the Laird Norton Company and donations from over 1000 individuals, businesses, local governments and foundations the $4.5 million project was a great success and was dedicated July 18, 2010 to celebrate the Society’s 75th anniversary.

The Armory part of the Winona County History Center was restored the summer of 2012. Thanks to a Minnesota Cultural Heritage Grant from Minnesota’s Legacy Funds and the Elizabeth Callendar King foundation the 1915 Armory was reenforced, tuck-pointed, and its battlements and turrets are back! In 2017 WCHS opened the Rural Heritage Museum on the County Fairgrounds that includes a museum building, historic schoolhouse, log house and log barn. The Bunnell House has had various restoration projects since the Society acquired it in 1954. It stands the test of time and is a continued testament to the first Euro-American settlers that stayed in what would become Winona County.

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