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
Warm Winona Winter Wishes: A Holiday Gift Bucket Fundraiser Buckets will be for sale at the History Center starting December 6 for WCHS members and December 13 for the public, until gone. Cost: $50 per bucket (over $100 value)
Due to continued high COVID-19 cases in our area we are postponing the Christmas House Tour and Family Christmas Festival another year. The Winona County Christmas Buckets were a huge hit last year, selling out within a week.
We have a new bucket filled with a different variety of Winona favorites and iconic goods all wrapped up and ready to gift...or keep.
Custom Stickers to decorate your bucket or more - donated by the Fastenal Sign Shop
A pair of Minnesota Mittens (size Medium) – Sponsored by WCHS Board Members
For many years, Winona Knitting Mills manufactured Winona Mittens from the excess fabric left over from their sweater production. Once the Winona Knitting Mills closed, many people thought they would not have an opportunity to purchase these mittens any longer. Much to everyone’s delight, Minnesota Mittens Inc. was founded in 2001, keeping the mittens, which were commonly referred to as Winona Mittens, tradition alive. Today Minnesota Mittens fabric is still knit in the USA from yarn manufactured in the USA. The fabrics are then washed at a Regional Rehabilitation Center and carefully hand crafted by Rehabilitation Centers or by other centers in our area.
2 Tickets to a Frozen River Film Festival Film Set – thanks to an anonymous sponsor and donation by the Frozen River Film Festival
Custom Winona mug with hot cocoa and candy - Sponsored by Willet Hauser
Winona Holiday Cards, boxed set of 9 with envelopes featuring images from the WCHS collections of winter fun in Winona from 1935 through the 1950s - Sponsored by Winona Health
"Junkyard Tough" local youth chapter book by Jenny Baertsch, signed by the author and illustrator! - Sponsored by WNB Financial
Junkyard Tough: A “Tail” of Bravery is the tale of a cat named Boots Meowington and his journey to understanding bravery. While all ages will enjoy the message in this chapter book, it’s easy reading for children ages 7–10 years old. Author Jenny Baertsch and her family live in Winona, Minnesota, with a cat named Boots — a small kitten with a big story. Her cat’s real-life adventures are woven into this fictional story, leaving readers with an unforgettable lesson of bravery. The book was also illustrated by local artist, Sara Pientok and printed locally.
This holiday fundraiser supports the Winona County Historical Society but can do more! These gift buckets make wonderful gifts for friends, family, clients, board members, staff and more. Also, consider buying a bucket to donate to a family in need. For most of us, the holidays are a joyous time but for some of the children, families and adults using Hiawatha Valley Mental Health Center services, the holidays can be extremely stressful and very isolating. Through community support, we can all positively impact mental health by being able to help the families that do not have the funds to purchase gifts for their children and loved ones. Also, we can help bring joy to the individuals living alone or celebrating the holidays alone this year. WCHS will transport any donated buckets to the Hiawatha Valley Mental Health Center.
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Holiday Shopping and Happenings!
Shop Small and Museum Store Sunday November 26 - 28, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. History Center Museum Shop Downtown Winona will be offering deals and fun getting ready for the holidays. Give the gift of Winona County history. November 26 - 28 spend $25 or more in the Museum Shop and get a free Watkins gift (while supplies last) and $5 off a new or gift membership. Membership to WCHS makes a great gift! Benefits include:
Subscription to The Argus
Event, Class and Program Deals
Free Admission to WCHS Museums
and the Archives
Museum Shop Discounts
Members’ Annual Holiday Sale 25% Off Museum Shop purchases all December! As an annual gift and thank you for our amazing members’ support the Museum Shop has a special 25% off sale all December long. Some exclusions apply. The Museum Shop is open daily 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and features locally made items, books, apparel, games and toys, Winona and Minnesota gifts and much more!
Downtown Winona Holiday Window Walk November 26 - December 31 The Grinch is the theme for this year’s Holiday Window Walk supported by the Winona Main Street program. Check out the window displays downtown, including ours at the History Center and vote for your favorite.
Our Annual Events
Museum Open House, February
WCHS Annual Meeting, March
Moonlight Revels, TBD
Heritage Dinner, TBD
Voices From the Past: Cemetery Walk, October
Handmade Neighborhood, November 20, 2021
Christmas House Tour and Family Christmas Festival alternate each year in December, TBD
Programs, Activities & Classes
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. December 1 - Evidence of V: A Novel in Fragments, Facts, and Fictions by Sheila O’Connor Drawing on the little-known American practice of incarcerating adolescent girls for “immorality” in the first half of the twentieth century, O’Connor follows young V from her early work as a nightclub entertainer to her subsequent six-year state school sentence for an unplanned pregnancy. Note there is one Book Chat for November/December due to the holidays.
January 26 - We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter
February 23 - The Astronaut Wives by Lily Koppel
March 23 - Four Winds by Kristin Hannah
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.