The Winona County Historical Society’s (WCHS) Historic Bunnell House will open on June 1 for the summer season. Explore the home of Winona County’s first permanent Euro-American settlers, their relationship with the local Dakota and storied past, plus learn more about the unique architecture of the house. Guides take you on a journey through the house, help you to participate in engaging activities, stories and more.
The Bunnell House was built by Willard and Matilda Bunnell in the 1850s. They were the first permanent white settlers in Winona County, fur trappers and traders, and suppliers to the increasing number of steamboats travelling the area via the river. It was a home up until 1954 when the WCHS acquired it and made it a house museum, opening in 1956. The Bunnell House overlooks the Homer landing along the Mississippi River. The river profoundly shaped the communities and people of the Winona area, just as they have influenced the character of the river itself, in turn. People had to learn the ways of the river to survive and prosper; similarly, they had to create relationships and networks with their neighbors along the river (whether American Indian or Euro-American). Without these relationships, already difficult lives became an even greater struggle.
The Bunnell House is open from June through August on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and on Sundays from 1-4 p.m. for guided tours. While you’re there, check out the pop-up Museum Shop! Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for students, and free admission is granted to WCHS members and youth ages seven and younger. It is located about three miles south of Winona in Homer right along Highway 61. Watch for brown signs.
Find more and plan your visit at www.winonahistory.org, call 507-454-2723, or call the Bunnell House during operating hours at 507-452-7575. Have a group? Schedule a group tour at a discounted rate by calling or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.