Henry D. Huff was a land speculator who built a brick and stone Italian Villa-style house on a large lot in Winona, Minnesota. The grand three-story home was completed in 1857. Henry and his wife, Harriett, lost all of their six children young, leaving the couple to enjoy the 14-bedroom and five-bathroom masterpiece with extended family. Henry’s work took him to Chicago regularly, so Harriet was often left alone to concentrate on her philanthropic work.
Henry and Harriet decided to make Chicago their home base in the early 1870s. The couple’s lives went separate ways not long after the move. Harriet moved back to Winona to live with her niece and was legally separated from Henry.
After the Huffs left their beautiful home in Winona, Henry Lamberton purchased it and moved in with his wife, Margaret, and their four children. Three generations of the Lamberton family lived in the home. Over the years, they made small improvements like adding electricity, central heating, air conditioning, an elevator, and small additions that enhanced the home. They also added the Moorish details to the front porch, giving the house a little character.
After the last Lamberton to live in the home died in 1962, the house passed to the Catholic Diocese of Winona. They used the home as an orphanage and was home to 34 children in need of a permanent home. From 1977 to 2006, the house was used as a senior living home. Then, it hit the real estate market. Its size and the housing crash of 2008 delayed the sale of the home for five years. Tours of the home took place during that time, giving many a glimpse into the grandeur the Huffs and Lambertons created.
Finally, in 2011, the house was purchased by a property management company that rents housing to college students. Today, the house is home to a sorority.
You can see the house at 207 Huff Street.