The History of Winona, Minnesota

I am always fascinated by different American states and their history, so I was beyond thrilled when author Shawn McGuire decided to share with us, facts about the town she grew up in.

Shawn is the  author of Break My Bones and Sticks and Stones. Be sure and check out the blurb for Break My Bones below. Enjoy!

ShawnNot only did I grow up in Winona, Minnesota, I set my first two books – Sticks and Stones and Break My Bones there. It’s an awesome little town nestled in a valley between with the Mississippi River to the east and a pretty lake surrounded by walking path on the west.

Here’s a little trivia about it:

Winona was founded in 1851 by a steamboat captain.

The city is built on a sand bar of the Mississippi River.

The name, Winona, comes from a Dakota word – We-no-nah – meaning “first-born daughter.”

Winona was the third largest city in Minnesota until the late 1880s and is currently 34th with a population of approximately 27,500.

J.R. Watkins Incorporated – a popular natural apothecary manufacturer of personal care, home care, remedies and gourmet extracts and spices – is home-based in Winona.

The site of the first normal school (a school created to train high school graduates to be teachers) west of the Mississippi in 1858. That school is now the very popular Winona State University.

Winona is the site of the Great River Shakespeare Festival every June and July.

Winona’s iconic Sugar Loaf rock formation was created when the mining of the bluff for limestone ceased in the 1880s.

Actress Winona Ryder was born nearby and her parents named her after the town.

Winona Senior High School’s colors are orange and black. The year I graduated the girls wore orange. I almost taped a stem to the top of my cap so I’d look like a pumpkin but didn’t quite have the guts! 


Break my bones by Shawn McGuireBreak My Bones by Shawn McGuire
(The Wish Makers #2)
Publication date: September 1st 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Everyone makes mistakes. Crissy’s just might kill her.

Seventeen-year-old Crissy Sheets was so sure Brad was the one, she believed him when he swore the first bruise was an accident. She believed him when he told her he loved her after the second. Now trapped in an abusive relationship with no idea of how to get out, she’s all but given up on ever having the life she dreams of. With little to lose, Crissy wishes for a better future.

She’s told her wish has been granted, but nothing has changed. Her house is still a dump, her mother is still drinking, and Brad still wants to control her every move. Then Lance moves into the house across the yard. He’s hot, chivalrous, and wants to help Crissy break free. Will standing up for herself push Brad too far?

Add Break My Bones to your Goodreads shelf.

Purchase Break My Bones (The Wish Makers Book 2) from Amazon | Kobo | B&N | iBooks | Smashwords

About Shawn

Shawn McGuire author

Shawn McGuire is the author of young adult, coming-of-age novels that blend contemporary settings with a touch of fantasy and magic. She started writing after seeing the first Star Wars movie (that’s episode IV) as a kid: she couldn’t wait for the next one so wrote her own episodes. Sadly, those notebooks are long lost, but her desire to write is as strong now as it was then.

She grew up in the beautiful Mississippi River town of Winona, Minnesota, the small town that inspired the setting for Sticks and Stones and the upcoming Break My Bones.

After graduating college she moved to the Milwaukee area of Wisconsin (Go Pack Go!) where she lived for many years. She and her family now call Colorado home and when not writing or reading, Shawn enjoys cooking and baking, crafts, interior decorating, and spending time hiking and camping in the spectacular Rocky Mountains.

Connect with Shawn: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads

 Enter to win A handmade bracelet and Break My Bones swag.


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