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Chapter 9: Mennonite and Hutterite Settlements

9.3: Rosetown and Kronsthal in the West Mennonite Reserve

Rosetown 1 (originally called Rosenort) and Kronsthal 2 are located in the central part of the west Mennonite reserve. Rosetown still exists but “Kronsthal” is a good example of a fossilized settlement, abandoned in the twenties in favour of a new home in Paraguay. The cottonwoods remain (in fact they appear more well-developed than in Rosetown), and it is possible to trace the course of the street and establish the location of many of the homes. But the village is for all intents and purposes abandoned[i] although a few buildings can still be seen.

Rosetown still exists as a village. Numerous long narrow buildings 3 exist on either side of the street 4 producing a linear village similar to the strassendorf (street village) found in many ports of Europe. The early buildings in Mennonite villages “were fashioned according to the patterns used “ back home”, and the house and barn were always connected. Houses averaged 7.5 metres in width and 12 metres in length; the attached barn was usually identical in width but slightly longer as a rule. The gable end of the house faced the street, and the other end was attached to the barn. This was a decided advantage in winter, as a man could attend his stock without leaving the shelter of his building, and it had an additional merit as an economy since it saved the cost of one outside wall.[ii] Although the photo is large–scale, it is not big enough to see parts of buildings, but it can be seen that buildings have long axes at right angles to the street. The street of Rosetown lies along a section line, but that in Kronsthal 5 lies just east of a north/south section line.

In this rich agricultural region sections and quarter section lines can be seen, but the land is divided into many long narrow fields trending east/west 6 or north/south 7. Outside the village there is little evidence of settlement, except one farmstead in the northeast surrounded by shelterbelts 8.

Two poorly defined Lake Agassiz strandlines are seen in the southwest 9.

Figure 9.3: Rosetown and Kronsthal in the West Mennonite Reserve

Figure 9.3: Rosetown and Kronsthal in the West Mennonite Reserve

Figure 9.3

Vertical air photograph: A11635-111

Flight height: 8,740 feet a.s.l.; lens focal length: 6 inches

Scale: 1:16,700 (approx.)

Date: July 29, 1948

Location: Township 1; Ranges 2 and 3 WI

Map sheets: 1:250,000 62H Winnipeg

1:50,000 62H/4 Altona


[i] Tyman, J. and D. op. cit., 1978, 42.

[ii] Tyman, J. and D. op. cit., 1978, 37.