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Mark your

May 13: MCHA monthly meeting; 9:30 a.m.; City Hall, 140 Mill Street.

May 20: Minnesota City Day; 165th Anniversary of Founding. See Newsletter for details!

May 25: Minnesota City Community Readers; 6:30 p.m.; City Hall, 149 Mill Street; Selection: Bill Bryson: The Road to Little Dribbling: Adventures of an American in Britain

May 29: VFW Honor Guard will present at Oakland Cemetery. Sunday afternoon.

“Go Green!”

If you receive this letter in paper “hardcopy” and would prefer to receive it electronically, please call


Because MCHA posts them and investigates them, many readers are familiar with these “firsts in Winona County” that happened/were in Minnesota City and are definitely reason to celebrate identity.

the oldest city in the county, est.1852
the first school (subscription)
the first public school (1852)
the first school district (1852)
the first church (First Baptist, 1852)
the first post office (1852)
the first bridge
the first horticulture experiment in the state (apples)
the first general merchandise store
the first blacksmith shop
the first horse shoeing
the first justice of the peace
the first representative to the legislature
the first sawmill

(Source: The History of Winona County. 1857)
Friends and Neighbors Will Parade on May 20

Residents of Minnesota City present and past, friends and neighbors and the general public will be celebrating the 165th Anniversary of the founding of the city in May 1852. Both the Minnesota House of Representatives and State Senate have drafted resolutions to be presented to the city at the Stand Still Parade on May 20. These will be read by Senator Mike Goggin and House Representative Steve Drazkowski. The Parade along Mill St will be started by the VFW Color Guard at 10:00 a.m.. Parade honoreeswill be Howard Volkart, Lola Denzer, and Jean Gardner. From 10 am to 1 p.m., residents and guests can walk along the street and visit with those entered in the parade. The list of entrees will be published in both local newspapers and will be posted at the Minnesota City Post Office. Judging will be done by Marcia Anderson, Rollingstone Township Clerk, Steve Jacob, Winona County Commissioner, and Mark Peterson, Mayor of Winona and will take place at noon. Food vendors will be on hand to offer refreshment, sandwiches and snacks. USPS Stamp cancellation for the day will occur at the First Baptist Church. Post Office personnel will be available for this event. A Plaque commemorating historicity of the Church Brothers Store on Mill Street will be installed at 10:30 a.m. and a plaque will be installed at 1:00 p.m. at the Ellsworth Mill Site (next to the Swinging Bridge Sign near the Oaks). Oakland Cemetery will be open for visitors.
Please watch for further details in the local newspapers and posted flyers.

MCHA Open Archives at 140 Mill Street: 10:30-1:00, May 20.

(right) Heritage Quilt squares (2002)
Opportunity to examine the archives of the Minnesota
City Historical Association will be available on May 20.
The archives are housed in the rear of the historic First
Baptist Church which will also be open, and hosts will be
available for discussion.

The archives, in addition to the usual displays of
artifacts and files of materials will offer these attractions
on the 20th:

• VideoTape of Old Wise Tales will be viewed during
the open house hours. A reminder that many of the
individuals who were interviewed have died, and
although many organizations now promote keeping
and experiencing taped recording of voices, we would
encourage viewers to consider their individual
relationships as they opt to view the recording.
• Copies of Old Wise Tales interviews with longtime
• Minnesota City residents will be available, produced
• with Riverway Learning Community in 2002.
Suggested donation for this book is $10:00.
• DVD copies of the taped interviews of persons interviewed for Old Wise Tales may be requested. There is no charge for these tapes.
• Binders of many researched Minnesota City Historical Topics will be available for perusal. We hope some family representatives will be present for discussion related to their own archival materials. Many families have organized amounts of material for shared used—Burley, Denzer, Hill-Seabern, Church.
• Free books will be available in the church. These have been donated and were part of the Free Book Giveaways while Community Readers met at the School Building. No books need to be returned and if persons have outlets to distribute them other than for personal reading, that would be appropriate.
• Heritage Quilt constructed in 2002 through contribution of squares by area residents and the quilt construction effected by women from St. Paul’s Quilting Group will be displayed. Squares will be available for persons to contribute to a second quilt. All residences are historic.

MCHA Expresses Sympathy

• the friends and family of Sharon L. Mahaffey Knouft, 68, Winona, who died on Mary 24 at her home.

• the friends and family of LaVerne Johnson, 87, who died on March 24.

• the friends and family of James “Jim” Schoen, 63, Minnesota City, who died on March 31 in Minnesota City. Jim Schoen did the plaster/repair work in one room of the archives when MCHA began housing materials there in 2008.

Minnesota City Day Historic First Baptist Church Open House

Members of the Ladies Aid of the First Baptist Church will host an open house at the 140 Mill Street location on May from 10:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.. The building in Minnesota City that has been the location of much of its history is the historic First Baptist Church at 140 Mill Street. It was the first congregation in Minnesota City and in Winona County. The first service of the church was held on July 11, 1852, conducted by T. E. Cressy, and the current building was constructed in 1875. The building was given to the Winona County Historical Society and returned because of inadequate funding ability. It continues to be maintained by the Ladies Aid of the First Baptist Church, now known as Historical Church Foundation of Minnesota City. A traditional service is conducted every summer with hymn singing accompanied by the original organ, and every December a community caroling event has engendered a
large turnout of Minnesota City and area persons. Persons can still choose to be married in the building. In recent months, Reinarts Glass Studio in Winona has donated restoration of the stained glass windows of the building and the Auxiliary has funded the reroofing of the building. The foundation of the building was reconstructed by Jaworski Construction Company.

For the May 20 occasion, visitors will be invited to tour the building which includes the Minnesota City Historical Association’s archives. An attraction which visitors will find novel is the indoor outhouse. Note cards developed by Jody Berhow and Leah Zierfus featuring the church will be available for purchase with proceeds being used for building improvements. Nancy Volkart O’Malley is heading this project. The church will also be the site of the cancellation of a commemorative postage stamp by USPS personnel.

The historic First Baptist Church is a veritable treasure of the community and all persons are invited to visit and share this historical experience.

MCHA Thanks

• Rollingstone Township for a contribution of $300.00 to be used for marking historical sights

• Persons who have contributed memberships and donations totaling $1110 in 2017

• For donations in honor and memory of Howard and Gladys Volkart and in memory of Shirley Kubicek, mother of Barbara Okland

Anyone who wishes to donate to or be a member of the Association is invited to send $15.00 to:
MCHA, P.O. Box 21,
Minnesota City, MN 55959

All monies will be used to support Association goals.

MCHA Website Welcomes Data

MCHA invites readers to submit (mgogrady@embarqmail.com) dates for the newsletter of family reunions, milestone birthdays, and other events about which readers wish to share information.