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The Marnach House

Marnach House exterior Marnach House interior
The Marnach House
Photographs by Sheila Cunningham

(National Registry of Historic Places, 3 miles north of Elba, MN, off highway 74)

This stone home was erected in the Whitewater Valley near Elba, MN (3 miles north of Elba and 1.6 miles into the woods off highway 74) between 1857 and 1860. It displays the Quereinhaus style made popular in the 1840s in rural Luxembourg; its architects and builders were stonemasons John and Nicholas Marnach. The three-story house, with partial basement, is the only field stone farm home of its type and size in southeastern Minnesota. After falling into disrepair, the Marnach House was saved through an amazing joint venture: an international collaboration among craft experts, architects and countless volunteers--in the Grand Duchy and in Winona County. Over a period of three summers, 1990-1993, all worked together to restore the venerable structure. School children in the Grand Duchy collected money for this venture. The Marnach House was re-dedicated on August 12, 1993, in the presence of a delegation of Luxembourger dignitaries led by former Prime Minister, Pierre Werner.

The House is decorated specially and opened to the public twice yearly--for two days of crafters, food and entertainment; both the annual May Berry Festival (Memorial Day weekend), and the Fall Harvest Fest, held in early October, draw hundreds of people. Throughout the year, with permission of the directors of the Wildlife Management Area, Whitewater State Park, and the Park naturalists, student groups also can arrange guided tours of the House, hike to the historic site, and participate in supervised classes.

The Fall 2007 festival will be held on Saturday, October 7, 2006, 10:00 am to 5:00 p.m. Transportation to the house will be available on that day.