Winona is a Dakota name meaning “first born daughter.” The Winona mine was built on prehistoric mining pits that were discovered to have been made at different periods of time by two different races of people. The Winona Mine was one of the first mines opened in the area, but insufficient copper and transportation impeded the mine’s operation. The mine was leased out in 1880 then closed in 1897. The following year the Winona Copper Mine was organized at the mine. The company took over the adjacent King Philip Mine in 1911.

The town of Winona was made up of six areas: Log or Finn Town; Central; King Philip; Shoe Pac Street; Wall Street; and Red Location, where all the houses were painted red. The Copper Range Railroad Company built a depot in Winona in 1907 and provided freight and passenger services. The village featured a company store, a barber shop, two boarding houses, a Finnish Hall, a doctor, a fire department, and a school that went through the twelfth grade. There was a saloon owned by the Bosch Brewing Company with a second floor that acted as a hotel. The Bosch Brewing Company warehouse was converted into a grocery store in 1922 that operated until 1961. The Winona post office continued until 1975 when it became the Community Post Office of Toivola until 1982.

Low prices of copper in the 1920s inhibited mine operations. In 1921, the directors of the Winona Mine sold the Winona timber rights to the Pampa Land Company who built a woodshop there. The mill revived Winona company; houses and supplies were in demand, the new life supported the school, and mill-waste was saved as cheap fuel for future mine operations. The mill burned down in 1923, was rebuilt, and operated until 1929. The mine was officially closed in 1923 while exploratory work was still being done at Winona. A notice of dissolution of the Winona Copper Company was published in December of 1928. In 1968 the Lake Superior Copper Company attempted to mine at Winona and the King Philip locations, but garnered no results.

Over the next few decades, the community of Winona began to slowly disappear. Abandoned homes and buildings began to crumble and slowly the forest began to recapture the land where the locations were built. Today, the school is open still but only has a handful of students and very few homes are still occupied.

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