The Bunnell House is located just south of Winona, off of Hwy 61 in Homer, Minnesota. In the late 1840s the Dakota Chief Wapasha granted Willard Bunnell permission to build a home. Willard was a fur-trader, and his wife Matilda spoke several languages, including Dakota. They were the first permanent Euro-American settlers in Winona County. Built in the early 1850s, the Bunnells’ unique home is an outstanding example of gothic-revival architecture.
Originally it was thought Willard and Matilda Bunnell moved their family west to the Minnesota Territory because of their health. Both had tuberculosis, which eventually claimed their lives. Recent research, however, hints that Willard may have been on the run. He ran away twice in his youth and his name appears on a court record associated with some missing silver coins just as he went west looking for a “healthier climate!”
Explore the lives of this adventurous family and their unique home this summer!
The Bunnell House is open for tours through August, Thursdays – Saturdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays 1 to 4 p.m. Admission is $5 Adults, $3 Students, and free for WCHS members and children 7 and younger. Plan your trip at winonahistory.org.