Winona, Minnesota is the Kashubian Capital of America. The first Kashubians came to Winona in 1859 and eventually made it the Kashubian Capital of America. The Kashubian settlement in Renfrew County, Ontario took place one year earlier, as did the Kashubian settlement in Portage County, Wisconsin. Chicago, Illinois, undoubtedly attracted more Kashubian immigrants than Winona did. But nowhere in North America, or elsewhere (Kashubians emigrated to places as far away as Brazil, New Zealand and Australia) did the Kashubians play as important a part in their new home as they did, and still do, in Winona. Winona's Kashubian Polish community also includes the people of Dodge Township, in Trempealeau County, Wisconsin. In 1862, Kashubian Polish families living in Winona began to purchase farmland near Pine Creek, Wisconsin, which eventually became part of Dodge Township. Families moved across the river and back, visited constantly with each other, and frequently intermarried - as did my grandparents, John C. Bambenek of Winona and Laura Pellowski of Trempealeau County.

My public presentations on the Winona-Pine Creek Kashubian Polish community can be found on my YouTube channel. There are also some posts from my blog, Smiles in Boxes, which touch upon people and places in Winona and also feature vintage pictures.