If you want to learn about Winona and the surrounding area this is the place you visit first. - Z.E.L
Current COVID-19 Guidelines While Visiting Our Museums: If staff are not wearing a mask, it is because they are fully vaccinated for COVID-19. We ask that our visitors follow the same standard set forth by the CDC. Thank you for continuing to distance and practicing other ways to keep everyone safe and healthy.
The Winona County History Center is the Society's main museum and is located in historic downtown Winona, Minnesota. The History Center is housed in Winona's 1915 National Guard Armory and the award-winning contemporary Laird Norton Addition.
Exhibits examine life in Winona County from early humans, local native communities, Euro-American settlement and immigrant cultures, to the diverse communities, businesses, art and events that tell the rich stories of this amazing region.
There is a new local Art Gallery space at the History Center that showcases regional talents with many works avaible for purchase. Many fun activities are offered throughout the year at the History Center for history fans of all ages! Check out the To Do page often for upcoming programs, events, and classes!
Hours: Open Daily 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. The Laird Lucas Library & Archives is open weekdays only. Closed Holidays.
Admission: $5 Adults, $3 Students, Free for WCHS Members, Students doing research and Children 7 and younger. The Art Gallery space is free.
Location: 160 Johnson St., downtown Winona, Minnesota. The History Center's Parking Lot is located behind LaBoutique just off Fourth Street. If full, the farthest lot on the map is 4 blocks away, or about a 7 minute walk. Most are 3 blocks or less from the History Center. Downtown Parking - Area Parking Map
Rentals: Spaces in the Winona County History Center can be rented for your meeting or special occasion. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Bunnell House Closed for the 2021 season due to a major road construction project.
In the late 1840s, the well-known Dakota Chief, Wapasha, granted permission to fur-trader, Willard Bunnell, to build a cabin on Dakota land at what is now Homer, Minnesota. Within a few years Bunnell built another, much finer, home nearby to house his wife, Matilda, and family — the present-day Bunnell House. An outstanding example of Rural Gothic Architecture, the home is built of northern white pine, encompassing the historical period during which Native American canoes gave way to steamboats and game-trails became roads for Euro-Americans.
Admission: $5 Adults, $3 Students, Free for WCHS Members, Students doing research and Children 7 and younger. Location: Three miles down river from Winona, just off Highway 61, at Homer, Minnesota. Watch for the brown signs! Parking in lot and on street. The Bunnell House is not easily handicap accessible.
The Rural Heritage Museum Open during the Winona County Fair, July 8 - 11, 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. and St. Charles Gladiolus Days.
Open: July 8 - 11, 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. Games and demonstrations will be ongoing. Story Time with Jill Veerkamp from the St. Charles Public Library Thursday: 2 and 4 p.m. Friday & Saturday: 10 a.m., 2 and 4 p.m. Sunday: 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Opened in 2017, the WCHS' newest museum is located on the Winona County Fairgrounds in St. Charles, Minnesota. Along with the museum exhibit building, visitors can explore the historic Gainey-McCarthy Schoolhouse, the Hill sisters’ log house, and an early log barn. The museum site is dedicated to the pioneer history of Winona County and our agricultural heritage. Check it out annually during the Winona County Fair and St. Charles' Gladiolus Days.
The WCHS' Pioneer School summer day camps are a long-time favorite for students 7 - 12 years old. We are looking forward to brining Pioneer School back in 2022!
Admission: Free will donation.
Location: Just off Hwy 14 in St. Charles, Minnesota. Follow Fair entrance signs, we are to the far left of the main entrance, up front, where the fair parking area ends. The main museum building is red and white with a green roof and there is a large sign on the building...you can't miss it!