In the late 1840s, the well-known Dakota Chief, Wapasha, granted permission to fur-trader, Willard Bunnell, to build a cabin on Dakota land at what is now Homer, Minnesota. Within a few years Bunnell built another, much finer, home nearby to house his wife, Matilda, and family — the present-day Bunnell House. An outstanding example of Rural Gothic Architecture, the home is built of northern white pine, encompassing the historical period during which Native American canoes gave way to steamboats and game-trails became roads for Euro-Americans.
Operated by the Winona County Historical Society, they have teamed up with, local theater company, Theatre du Mississippi, to produce performances that will be held throughout the house. This new historical experience will take visitors back in time with the Bunnells to witness the events of early Winona unfold. This summer's performance, The Hired Girl Gets Married, written by Lynn Nankivil and directed by Paul Sannerud, will take visitors back to 1856 as the Bunnells ready the house for the celebration. It is a time for new beginnings, not only for a young bride, but all, as pioneers in a new land, forging a new life and new identity.
The Carriage House on the Bunnell grounds will be host to attendees before heading to the house for performances. It will also have more information and some artifacts about the Bunnells and the area; with refreshments, souvenirs and gifts for sale. Also check out the heirloom herb and vegetable gardens.