COVID-19 Safety Guidelines: While community COVID spread is High masking is required at our museums and events.
Programs, Activities & Classes
History on the River Educational Cruises Celebrating Our Heritage!
Experience the history, culture, arts, science, stories, music, and more that make Winona County, Minnesota so unique...on the Mississippi River.
Cruises are on the third Thursday in May, June, July, August and September aboard The Cal Fremling. Each cruise is 90 minutes long with a program, a changing assortment of hors d’oeuvres or desserts with a variety of beverages and sightseeing time. Please note the earlier departure times as we near the end of the season when the days get shorter.
Tickets are sold in advance at the History Center or by calling 507.454.2723 ext. 0 Individual Tickets: $35 Members, $45 Public, available for cruises not marked as sold out below. Season Pass Packs are sold out!
May 19 • 7 p.m. - canceled due to severe weather. Refund requests can be made by stopping in or calling the History Center, 507-454-2723 ext. 0. May 26 is the deadline to request a refund for this cruise. Music with Good to Go (replacing Magpie Revival) + The Geologic History of the Driftless Area with Dylan Blumentritt Learn more about our region and how it became the beautiful region we know today. Dylan has his BA, Gustavus Adolphus College, PhD & MS University of Minnesota Surface Processes, Hydrology, Paleolimnology and is an Assistant Professor at Winona State University. Also, join "Good to Go" for live music featuring acoustic folk, rock, country/gospel, and American roots with Terry Gray on guitar and Beth Oness on fiddle. Both live in the Winona area––Beth is a writer, teacher, and musician. Terry works part-time and also plays and sings in a duo, "Right Side Up.”
June 16 • 7 p.m. SOLD OUT Brewing Between the Bluffs: Minnesota and Wisconsin Breweries from 1850-1990 with Doug Hoverson Doug is associate editor of American Breweriana Journal, an award-winning homebrewer, and a certified beer judge. He is also the author of Land of Amber Waters: The History of Brewing in Minnesota and The Drink That Made Wisconsin Famous:Beer and Brewing in the Badger State.
July 21 • 7 p.m. SOLD OUT Music by Patina + The Irish in Winona: Quarrels and Quarries with Kathy Peterson Kathy will share stories of Irish heritage in Winona with selections of traditional and original Irish music with Patina, featuring violin, whistle, flute, bass, bodhrán, and guitar.
August 18 • 6:30 p.m. SOLD OUT Songs of the River with The Bell House Band This Winona Folk trio features the talents of Bob Stuber, Connie Dretske, and Jim Armstrong as they perform songs related to the river.
September 15 • 6 p.m. - only a few tickets left! Waterfowl and History of the Upper Mississippi Flyway with Mary Stefanski Explore the types of waterfowl that use the Mississippi River during their migration and the historical stories of the Upper Mississippi River flyway. Mary is District Manager for Pools 4-6 of the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge.
General Cruise Information
Parking is available near the Levee off Johnson St., Main Street and Walnut St. as well as on Cal Fremling Drive. The Cal Fremling is docked near Johnson Street.
History on the River cruises are aboard The Cal Fremling operated by Winona State University. The two-level vessel features AC and heat in the enclosed lower deck with an open canopied upper level with seating. There is a restroom on board. The lower deck is handicap accessible. Light refreshments are included.
Updates or cancellations will be posted here at least 3 hours prior to the cruise or call 507-454-2723 ext. 0 with any questions. If a cruise is canceled due to weather (we will go in rain) or river conditions, ticket holders can choose another cruise or can be issued a refund, otherwise cruise tickets are non-refundable. Unfortunately, any canceled cruises are not rescheduled.
Cruise Updates or Cancellations:May 19 cruise canceled due to severe weather. Refund requests can be made by stopping in or calling the History Center, 507-454-2723 ext. 0. May 26 is the deadline to request a refund for this cruise.
The traveling exhibit has moved on but there are great related activities still flowing!
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 at the History Center. Discussions begin at 12:05 p.m. for about an hour. Led by Audrey Gorny.
April 27 - Tuxedo Park By Jennet Conant
May 25 - The Women in the Castle By Jessica Shattuck
June 22 - Elmer Gantry By Sinclair Lewis
Pioneer School Summer Day Camps We are looking forward to bringing back Pioneer School this July!
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's Gainey-McCarthy School annually. Click below to learn more and how to register!
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.