WCHS explores what is Winona-made: 2023 Voices From the Past Cemetery Walk


The Winona County Historical Society’s fall fundraiser event, Voices From the Past Cemetery Walk will highlight what has been and still is Made in Winona! this year. Hear from community actors portraying the people of Winona County’s past.

Thursday, October 5 • 6:00 PM
Accessible Performance of the Walk’s sites at the History Center

Saturday, October 7 & Sunday, October 8
12:00 – 4:00 PM
Cemetery Walk at Woodlawn Cemetery

Admission: $10 Adults, $5 Students, $3 Youth 12 to 4 years old.

Take a walk into the past with stories of Winona County brought to life with community actors in beautiful Woodlawn Cemetery. Learn more about local history in a fun and unique way! Each year highlights a different historic theme and different people’s stories are told by actors at sites throughout the cemetery. For 2023, hear from the workers, entrepreneurs, and business leaders about the vast amount of items “Made in Winona!”

Allow about 1.5 to 2 hours to take the self-guided tour through Woodlawn Cemetery. Maps and guide booklets are provided at the admission table. Community actors are found by graves portraying people of our past and the stories they share. Guides will also be found along the route to answer questions and offer additional stories and fun facts. Seating for those that need to rest along the route is provided, but your own easy to carry camp chairs or stools are welcome.

Cannot make The Walk? Then head to the indoor accessible performance of all the sites at the History Center on October 5 at 6 p.m. Registration is not required but you can sign-up for a reserved seat by stopping at the History Center or call 507.454.2723 ext. 0.

The theme for the 2023 Cemetery Walk will explore the lives of people who were creative creators, beverage brewers, agricultural equipment inventors, sweet-tooth feeders, community builders, and more. Chat with Hannibal Choate about his famous department store, along with some milliners and dressmakers. Hear about making remedies from Emily Goltz and Jeanette McConnon. The Weisbrod and Schellas families will talk about their breweries. Presidents of the Winona Wagon and Pioneer Tractor Companies will talk about their work. Find out more about how Winona became the stained glass capitol from Larry Conway, Genevieve Hauser, and Bill Reinharts Sr. Mary McVey, Elmer “Charley” Boerst, Agnes Westman, and Charles Schuler will have some sweet stories to share too. Cynthia Biesanz, Lucrectia Norton, and Mary Laird had the building materials to make Winona. And the Hillyers and Breitlows will share memories of making furniture and the darker side of that business in the 1800s.

Voices From the Past is sponsored by Merchants Bank. The Winona County History Center is open daily 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. at 160 Johnson St. in downtown Winona. Call 507.454.2723 or visit winonahistory.org to find more!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *