Please Note: Registration, by calling 507.454.2723 Ext. 0, for programs, tours and receptions are encouraged. Walk-ins are welcome but we can not guarantee space. Please wear a mask. Thank you!
Events & Fundraisers
The Annual Meeting of the Winona County Historical Society September 30, 7 p.m. History Center and Online - Members Only.
The (postponed from March) September 30 Annual Meeting of WCHS will be hybrid (in-person and via Zoom) and will not offer a program. We will save Mark Peterson’s “Mayors of Winona” for a time when we can gather in large numbers and celebrate. Members can find the annual report after Sept. 17 and will be able to join the meeting virtually here. Please RSVP if attending in person by calling 507.454.2723 ext. 0 by Sept. 29. If COVID-19 gets worse, we will resort to an online form for voting. Thank you and we hope to see many of you online or in-person September 30.
Voices From the Past Cemetery Walk 2021 Sponsored by Merchants Bank Saturday & Sunday October 9 & 10 12:00 - 5:00 p.m. at Woodlawn Cemetery No registration needed.
Accessible Indoor Performance Wednesday, October 6 6:00 p.m. at History Center Register by calling 507.454.2723 ext. 0
Admission at the gate: $10 adults, $5 Students, $3 Youth 12 and under (free for children under 3)
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.
Enjoy the Walk at your own pace and in any order you choose. Arrive at anytime between Noon and 5 p.m. but be sure to leave time to get to all the performance sites you'd like, roughly 90 minutes for all depending on your pace. A map and more information is provided at the gate with admission. Guides are also throughout the cemetery to help. Seating is provided throughout the route of the Walk. Dress for the weather, only severe weather will cancel the Walk. Any updates will be posted here.
Our Annual Events
Museum Open House, February
WCHS Annual Meeting, September 30, 2021
Moonlight Revels, postponed until 2022
Heritage Dinner, TBD
Voices From the Past: Cemetery Walk, October 9 & 10, 2021 Woodlawn Cemetery
Handmade Neighborhood, November 20, 2021
Christmas House Tour and Family Christmas Festival alternate each year in December, TBD
Programs, Activities & Classes
Book Launch and Gallery Show Reception The Haunting of Potter’s Field: Stories From The Past, Unearthed From The Grave October 8, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m., History Center Slaggie Family Lobby Gallery
In 2011, Theatre du Mississippi, in collaboration with the Winona County Historical Society, produced a musical play by playwright and Judge Margaret Shaw Johnson, entitled The Haunting of Potter’s Field. The work told the mostly true stories of people who were buried in Woodlawn Cemetery’s potter’s field prior to 1940. These worthy people tried hard but were not destined to achieve the American Dream. “Their stories are so compelling, I’ve never been able to get them out of my mind,” says Johnson. So, she decided to publish them in a book, soon to be released!
The book is richly illustrated by Jared Tuttle of Minneapolis, artist, illustrator, designer and graduate of the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Framed enlargements of the illustrations will be on display in the gallery from October 8 to November 14. The book launch and gallery opening is free and open to the public. We plan on light desserts, and as a special treat, musicians will perform some of the original music composed for the 2011 theater production. Save the date - call to register - do not miss this event!
Historic Walking Tours 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 per person. Bottled water is included. Sign up by calling 507.454.2723 ext. 0. Sponsored by WNB Financial.
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.
Book Chat Book Chat is free and open to the public. Participate in great discussions about the themes in each month’s book. Held monthly on the 4th Wednesday in the Briarcombe Room at the History Center. Discussions begin at 12:05 p.m. for about an hour. Led by Audrey Gorny. Sept. 22 - The Secrets of Mary Bowser, by Lois Laveen Based on the remarkable true story of a freed African-American slave who returned to Virginia at the onset of the Civil War to spy on the Confederates. Oct. 27 - Finding Dorothy by Elizabeth Letts As MGM is adapting her late husband’s masterpiece for the screen, 77 year-old Maud Gage Baum sets about trying to finagle her way onto the set.
Online Lecture Series: The Ecological History of Winona County Now Available to View Online: Webinar Series in partnership with Winona State University
This lecture is co-sponsored by the All-University Arboretum and Land Stewardship Committee as part of the 8th Annual Arbor Day celebration and WSU’s “Tree-Campus USA” recognition.
The Ecological History Lecture Series, March 23 – April 21, 2021, is made possible in part by the people of Minnesota through a grant funded by an appropriation to the Minnesota Historical Society from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. We thank the generosity of the people of Minnesota. The webinar series is open and free to the public.
Pioneer School We are looking forward to bringing back Pioneer School in 2022.
Students step back in time to experience life in a one room schoolhouse. This popular summer day camp is offered at the Rural Heritage Museum annually. Check out more on the Pioneer School page to learn about this fun experience.