The Winona County Historical Society’s History on the River educational cruises are back for another season! Join WCHS out on the river on either the Cal Fremling or Winona Tour Boat this season, both leaving from the Winoan levee. Cruises are on Thursday evenings starting on June 15 and going through September, and are 90 minutes long with a program and sightseeing time. A rotating variety of refreshments are included with each cruise as well.
Tickets are sold in advance at the History Center or by calling 507-454-2723, extension zero. Tickets are $27 for non-members and $22 for WCHS members. Save with the pick three option and go on your choice of any three History on the River cruises for $75 for non-members or $60 for members. Tickets went on sale for the 2017 season on May 8 for members and then for the general public on May 12 at 9 a.m. Stop in the History Center or call 507-454-2723, extension zero, to charge by phone.
Boarding begins 15 minutes prior to the listed departure time. Please note the changing departure times. Parking is available near the levee off Johnson Street and Walnut Street as well as on Cal Fremling Drive. Watch for construction at the levee this summer, but you will have access to the levee docks. The Cal Fremling (CF) is docked near Johnson Street and the Winona Tour Boat (WTB) is near Walnut Street.
• 15, 7 p.m., Steamboating History of the Upper Mississippi with Robert Taunt, CF
In character as a 19th century steamboat captain, Taunt tells the tales of the countless steamers that travelled the Upper Mississippi, with a focus on Winona’s busy port. In conjunction with Winona’s Steamboat Days!
• 22, 7 p.m., Fiddlin’ History on the River with Betsy Neil, CF
Music teacher Betsy Neil brings aboard some great fiddle music!
• 29, 7 p.m., Bygone Brewing (with sampling) with Island City Brew Masters, WTB
Winona’s own local brewers will be aboard to talk about brewing heritage, and they are bringing samples! (Bring your ID.)
• 6 - No cruise – Enjoy the Minnesota Orchestra free concert!
• 13, 7 p.m., “John Latsch: The Man and His River” with Mary Farrell, CF
A unique chance to view the local documentary about the man we all must thank for the many recreational spaces he provided, including, the river refuge which he frequented the most. Q and A with award-winning filmmaker Mary Farrell will be included.
• 20, 7 p.m., GRSF: A look into “Shipwrecked!” and the “Iliad,” CF
Great River Shakespeare festival folks join us on the river to share more about this season’s performances that feature water ... and some interesting history.
• 27, 7 p.m. Exploring the Refuge and its History with Ranger Ed Lagace, WTB
Ranger Ed will take attendees on the backwaters for a closer look at the refuge, its wildlife, and history. If the river allows we will stop and explore an Island or two.
• 3, 7 p.m. Winona’s Lumber Industry with Mr. W.H. Laird (Ray Felton), CF
Get to know a great Winona philanthropist and the business that gave him the means to give so much to Winona. Ray will portray local lumber baron, William Harris Laird.
• 10, 7 p.m., A Look at the Levee: Past, Present, and Future with Keith Nelson, CF
Winona’s public works director will tell attendees about Winona’s levee, and the process of keeping the river out of Winona.
• 17, 7 p.m., Jazz on the River with Les Fields and the Turkey River All-Stars, CF
Jazz literally played a major role in the history of the river and its recreational pastimes. These guys will play tunes to take you back to those raucous river days.
• 24, 6:30 p.m., Winona Port Operations with Dan Nisbit, CF
Join the president of CD Corp on a river view tour of Winona’s industrial port.
• 31, 6:30 p.m., Winona’s Boathouse Heritage, WTB
Get up close and learn more about Winona’s unique and interesting houseboat heritage. The group will explore the various communities along this stretch of the Mississippi.
• 7, 6 p.m. Mississippi Gold Star Paddle with Jim Crigler, CF
This spring and summer, Vietnam veteran Jim Crigler is taking a canoe down the length of the Mississippi to thank the Gold Star families along the way, and to raise awareness of those that made the ultimate sacrifice of giving up a loved family member to war. Learn about his adventure and the American Huey 369 project.
• 14, 6 p.m., Mississippi River Archeology with Andy Bloedorn, CF
WCHS curator Andy Bloedorn explores how archeologists use what they find to piece together the lives of the very early peoples who lived in our region so long ago. In celebration of Archeology Week!
• 21, 5:30 p.m., The Will of Dilg and the Will of Latsch with Mike Kennedy, CF
Learn about both of the men who loved the river and wanted to provide spaces for the youth of future generations to enjoy and learn about our connectedness to and protection of “the great outdoors.”
• 28, 5:30 p.m., Lock and Dam Adventure, WTB
Learn more about the Lock and Dam system, and, if able, attendees will go through the lock process at 5A.
Learn more about the Winona County Historical Society and its programing at www.winonahistory.org or call 507-454-2723.