Located on an island in the Mississippi River in southeastern Minnesota, Winona has been home to the transportation industry from its earliest days. Before Winona was a city, Native Americans and European explorers sailed past “Wapasha’s Prairie” in birch bark canoes, keel boats, or small sailboats. As early as the 1820s, steamboats plied up and down the “Father of Waters,” carrying people and goods to and from the interior. Until bridges were built, it was necessary to use ferryboats to cross this great river. The first bridge to cross the river was a railroad swing bridge that allowed steamboats to pass by. With the bridge in place, rail traffic arrived in Winona and a terminal was established along the riverfront.
About the Author
Through images collected and archived in the Winona County Historical Society’s History Center, Walter Bennick, a society archivist, illustrates the history of Winona with a sampling of this extensive collection. Many of the photographs presented in the book have rarely been seen by the general public and have never been published. Though not a native, Walt has lived a good share of his adult life in Winona. As a former teacher, he has explored many aspects of his adopted city and has appreciated what he has discovered.
Table of Contents
1 The Early Years 11
2 A New Community is Formed 23
3 Crossing the Great River 31
4 Getting Around Town 41
5 Some Leaders of Industry and Commerce 53
6 Soldiers and Wars 65
7 Health and Sickness, Hospitals and Cemeteries 81
8 Educational and Religious Leadership 93
9 The Arts and Entertainment 105
10 Lost Winona 115