Eureka Springs Independent Newspaper Column for November 19, 2014 by Steve Weems

On a day of heavy rains in the Spring of 1990, new local residents David and Jane Reuter attended a fundraiser at the Winona School and Church on Rockhouse Road. Attendees, including the Reuters, brought pies that an auctioneer sold to the highest bidder to help pay someone’s medical bills. David remembers bluegrass-style music provided by a fiddler, banjo-player and others. At the conclusion of the event, those driving north towards Eureka Springs found the low water bridge impassable. Drivers climbed out of their vehicles and congregated at the water’s edge and decided to give the creek time to fall rather than taking the risk.

Located in the long, narrow Winona Hollow, the historic Winona building has been a place of learning and worship, as well as voting, meetings, homecomings and weddings. There have also been community pie suppers and dinners on the grounds.

If one peruses old maps, it is found that Winona Springs was the name of this community. Besides the school and church, at one time Winona Springs had about 20 houses, a post office, and a mill.

I’ve read that George Washington Pinkley had a hand in the building of the Winona School and Church sometime before 1893. His daughter, Luella, married my great-grandfather Walter Weems there in 1901.

I live in Winona Township and we used to vote at the Winona School and Church, but it was eliminated as a polling location several years ago. If you were handicapped and couldn’t make it into the building, a poll worker would bring a ballot out. Often, voting on a chilly November morning, a roaring fire in the General-Wesco Jumbo woodstove kept things warm. It was a pleasant and friendly place in which to participate in democracy. I miss it. We now vote in town and it just isn’t the same.

Now this historic building is needing a new roof and repairs. An old-fashioned pie supper and silent auction will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday, November 20, at the ECHO Clinic. You can also donate at the First National Bank of North Arkansas or mail donations to P.O. Box 367 in Berryville, Arkansas 72616.

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