The Mennonite Heritage Village helps preserve the history of the Russian Mennonites.
The outdoor village takes you back to 1874 when the first Mennonites arrived in Manitoba. Over twenty historic buildings, including Mennonite homes, schools, churches, and small businesses line the village street. You can absorb the history as you walk through the village and the buildings.
This is a replica of the turn of the century General Store.
The original Klass Reimer general store was the first in the village of Steinbach back in 1884.
Lichtenau Church was built in 1930 by Mennonites who emigrated from Russia in the 1920’s.
We had an appointment at the Livery Barn Restaurant for lunch so I’ll stop here for a bit before we continue our village tour. This is Betty and her daughter Allison.
All of us chose to order the Bestje Dit enn Daut. Sample of a little this and that. All of this plus it came with a slice of rhubarb plautz. A very traditional Mennonite sampling.
Marg decided we could all sample the Cinnamon roll, too. Yummy!
Mennonites used windmills to grind grains and drain marshes throughout their history in Europe and Russia. The first windmill in Steinbach was built in 1877 by Abraham S. Friesen. A replica was built at the museum in 1972 but was destroyed by fire in 2000. Now Canada’s only operational windmill, reconstructed in 2001, is an exact replica of the 1877 windmill of Steinbach and sits in this village.
We didn’t have enough time to walk into all the buildings but I was interested in seeing the inside of one of the school buildings. This school was built in the village of Blumenhof, near Altona, in 1885.
Dear’s mother taught in a one room school house and I can imagine it was not unlike this one.
Lunch boxes or I suppose they should be called Lunch cans!
The teacher could live right in the school in an adjoining room. I think I would have preferred to have quarters elsewhere.
Old Colony Worship House
The house and barn connection and dwelling layout of this home can be traced back to Prussia/Poland, where the Mennonites settled from the 1500’s onward.
This is a Semlin which was made of sod, soil, grass and wood. These were the materials used in the first homes bulit by Mennonite immigrants in 1874. Although very crude, these sod buildings provided the shelter necessary for survival on the Manitoba plains. The house above and below this Semlin was a vast improvement built with oak logs and larger rooms.
Hope you enjoyed my little tour of the Mennonite Heritage Village. Putting something together on this scale must have taken lots of hard work and volunteer hours. From what I’ve seen and experienced, Mennonites aren’t afraid of hard work. Volunteers put in hours to mow the lawns on this 40 acre site, too. It really is a great destination to visit if you travel in this area.
I have one more post to wrap up our time in Manitoba.
Hope all is well in your corner of the world.
Ht: Mennonite Heritage Village Brochure