102 Liberty St.
Winona Minnesota 55987United States
Learn about the Kashubian Poles who were instrumental in establishing Winona in the 1800s.
The small Polish Cultural Institute in Winona, known as the Polish Museum, is interesting. But sadly, it could be so much better. People from Poland's Kashubian region settled in Winona and the immediate area starting in the mid-19th century and were instrumental in shaping the city and its industries. The massive, impressive St. Stanislaus Kostka Catholic Church, just a few blocks away, was built by these settlers.While the museum is well kept and attractive inside, with impressively laid wooden flooring and well-thought-out displays, there's no information on the history of Winona's Polish immigrants and/or a time line of their settlement. If you knew nothing about the history of Poles in Winona and walked inside, you wouldn't learn anything about why these people came here and how they impacted the young town. Yes, you'd see some of the old farm tools they used, their native costumes and the beautiful items they embroidered. But without any context, what does it all mean? Admission is $2, so it's probably still worth a quick stop. Who knows? Maybe down the road someone will organize the collection and create explanatory materials.