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Chapter 9: Mennonite and Hutterite Settlements

9.1: Villages in the West Mennonite Reserve

The photo shows all or part of nine Mennonite villages in the west reserve: Gnadenthal 1, Neuenberg 2, Hochfeld 3, Friedensfeld 4, Blumenfeld 5, Reinland 6, Schoenwiese 7, Rosengart 8, and Haskett 9. The villages have been superimposed on the square grid pattern of the DLS. In the case of Neuenberg and the eastern part of Reinland 10, the village road runs along a section line, and in most other cases the village streets harmonize with the DLS system in that they run north/south or east/west. However, the streets do not coincide with section or quarter section lines, and in the case of Gnadenthal and the western part of Reinland 11, the street is at an angle to the DLS lines. Houses within the villages are closely spaced along the streets resulting in linear villages. The narrow fields running back from the houses in the old field system have been mainly obliterated by field amalgamation, but remnants can be seen in the western part of Reinland 12. It is noticeable that the scattered farmsteads—two, three, or four per section—so common in other parts of agricultural Manitoba are largely absent here, although a few examples do exist 13, possibly owned by farmers who moved out from the villages years after they were established.

The land shown here is part of the Lake Agassiz plain drained by slow eastward-flowing streams, Buffalo Creek 14 in the south and Buffalo Drain 15 further north. Very faint light-toned lines 16 are Lake Agassiz strandlines, one of which in the southeast determines the field shape 17.

The southern part of the photo lies within the U.S.A. (boundary is indicated by the dashed line). The survey system is similar to the DLS, but north/south section lines north and south of the border do not coincide, accounting for the jog on highway 32 just south of the border 18. A well-developed system of east/west 19 and north/south 20 shelterbelts can be seen south of the border. These are designed to lessen wind erosion in this flat intensively farmed area. They are not so common north of the border, but examples exist in several locations 21. Most sections are divided into long narrow fields 22 in contrast to quarter section-sized fields in parts of southwestern Manitoba.

Transport routes include north/south PTH 32 23 and east/west PR 201 24, as well as several gravel roads along section lines. The faint light-toned line in the northeast is a buried oil pipeline 25. The absence of railway lines is noticeable, in contrast to other rural areas in Manitoba.

Figure 9.1: Villages in the West Mennonite Reserve

Figure 9.1: Villages in the West Mennonite Reserve

Figure 9.1

Vertical air photograph: MB90019-44

Flight height: 31,000 feet a.s.l.; lens focal length: 153.211 mm

Scale: 1:57,600 (approx.)

Date: May 14, 1990

Location: Townships 1 and 2; Ranges 3 and 4 WI

Map sheets: 1:250,000 62H Winnipeg

1:50,000 62H/4 Altona