New book explores the Upper Mississippi River


Local author shares history using stunning vintage images

The newest addition to Arcadia Publishing’s popular Images of America series is the “Upper Mississippi River at Winona.” This new title by local author Walter Bennick was released in May. The book includes 200 vintage images, many of which have never been published, and tells the story of the Minnesota region.

Winona, located on an island where the Upper Mississippi River flows from west to east, has been linked to the river from its earliest days. Before the community’s settlement, Native Americans and white explorers sailed past Wapasha’s Prairie in birchbark canoes, keel boats, and small sailboats. As early as the 1820s, steamboats plied the river while carrying people and goods to and from the state’s interior.

Before bridges began to crisscross the river, merchants had to use boats to bring people and supplies to Winona before they could travel farther west. The first bridge to cross the river was a swing bridge that allowed steamboats to pass. “Images of America: Upper Mississippi River at Winona” uses images collected and archived in the Winona County Historical Society’s History Center to illustrate the history of the Mississippi River near Winona. Many of the photographs exhibited in this book have rarely been seen by the general public and have never been published.

Join the author for a book signing at 2 p.m. on Friday, June 17, at Pieces of the Past, 79 East Second Street, Winona.

The book is available at area bookstores, independent retailers, and online retailers, or through Arcadia Publishing at 888-313-2665 or online.

Arcadia Publishing is the leading publisher of local and regional history in the United States. Its mission is to make history accessible and meaningful through the publication of books on the heritage of America’s people and places. Have we done a book on your town? Visit


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