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Chapter 9: Mennonite and Hutterite Settlements

9.2: Villages in the West Mennonite Reserve


This very flat area is part of the Lake Agassiz plain with fertile soils and drainage by slow eastward flowing streams—Buffalo Drain 1 in the south, Rosenheim Drain 2 in the centre, and an unnamed stream in the north 3. The latter disappears just after crossing two indistinct Lake Agassiz strandlines 4. Four Mennonite villages—Blumenfeld 5, Friedensfeld 6, Hochfeld 7, and Neuenberg 8 are located on this photo that is at a slightly larger scale than that in figure 9.1. Friedensfeld 6 is very much smaller than the others with only a few houses.[i] The other three settlements have streets paralleling the DLS, but none of the streets lies on a section line or a quarter section line. They are noticeable for the careful planting of trees, not only as protection against wind and sun but also to improve the settlement’s appearance. They all have houses located along a main street that results in a linear settlement. In the case of Hochfeld 7 the street runs north/south a little over a quarter mile west of a north/south section line which is followed by PTH 32 9. The road is raised above the level of the surrounding land allowing snow to be blown off it in winter. A ditch on either side of the road gathers snow in winter and water in the spring and summer. Access to the fields east of Hochfeld is obtained by a series of embankments 10. A few dispersed farms with well-developed shelterbelts 11 can be seen near some section lines, probably established by individuals who decided to leave the villages.

Section lines and quarter section lines of the DLS are clearly visible. In this intensively farmed area most fields are divided into narrow north/south 12 or east/west 13 trending strips. Field shelterbelts planted mainly to protect against wind erosion trend east/west 14 or north/south 15.

PTH 32 9 is the main highway, and the faint light-toned line in the northeast 16 is a buried oil pipeline. As with figure 9.1there is no railway line in this area.

Figure 9.2: Villages in the West Mennonite Reserve

Figure 9.2: Villages in the West Mennonite Reserve

Figure 9.2

Vertical air photograph: A21176-29

Flight height: 18,360 feet a.s.l.; lens focal length: 152.63 mm

Scale: 1:35,800 (approx.)

Date: August 6, 1969

Location: Townships 1 and 2; Range 4 WI

Map sheets: 1:250,000 62H Winnipeg

1:50,000 62H/4 Altona


[i] The name of Friedensfield was officially changed to Friedensfeld West in 1976 to avoid confusion with another Friedensfield located south of Steinbach. Holm, G. ed. Geographical Names of Manitoba. Winnipeg: Manitoba Conservation. 2000, 87.