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Chapter 9: Mennonite and Hutterite Settlements

9.4: The Springhill Hutterite Colony, Northwest of Neepawa

Hutterite Colonies

“Hutterite farming communities are found throughout most of southern Manitoba…. Their village type settlements, known as colonies, consist of about 15 families or 100 people, with some being larger and some smaller. They are large-scale producers of crops and livestock.”[i] In 1992 there were 81 colonies in Manitoba, but by 2007 there were about 116.

“Factors influencing the location of colonies are availability of good agricultural land, well-removed from villages and towns; a water supply source; and access to the provincial road system, although they are not usually related to the railway system. There is really no pattern to settlements, but they usually follow a basic layout, with some variations depending on terrain and group choice. In many colonies the family homes encircle a central park, while the barns and other facilities form an outer circle or ring… The communal kitchen/dining hall is centrally located; on most colonies church services are conducted in part of the complex. Each colony has a kindergarten and a school.”[ii] In the past, formal education finished at grade 8, but there has been a recent push for further education including university. Brandon University now runs a program specifically for Hutterites, and some take regular courses.


The colony 1, five miles northwest of Neepawa, is located by a creek 2 that drains eventually to the Whitemud River. It is located on a provincial gravel road 3 with the CN railway line 4 just to the south of that. Two dugouts 5 to east and west serve the colony.

The scale of the photo is too small for definite identification of buildings, but some deductions can be made. The people’s houses are probably located in the southwest, protected by a large shelterbelt of trees to north and west 6. Springhill is known locally as a hog-producing colony; the two long buildings east of the residences 7 are probably hog barns. A group of buildings to the north 8 probably include animal houses and machinery sheds.

The photo shows part of township 15 range 15WI where the DLS was not accurate. In particular, section 30, township 15, range 15WI 9 is a parallelogram rather than a square; its southern boundary is followed by a gravel road 10 which is far from the usual east/west alignment.

Figure 9.4: The Springhill Hutterite Colony, Northwest of Neepawa

Figure 9.4: The Springhill Hutterite Colony, Northwest of Neepawa

Figure 9.4

Vertical air photograph: A18624-99

Flight height: 9,445 feet a.s.l.; lens focal length: 152.13 mm

Scale: 1:16,700 (approx.)

Date: September 11, 1964

Location: Township 15, Ranges 15 and 16 WI

Map sheets: 1:250,000 62J Neepawa

1:125,000 62J/8W Neepawa

1:50,000 62J/5 Clanwilliam


[i] Ryan, J. “Hutterites in Manitoba” in Welsted, Everitt, and Stadel op. cit., 1996, 233-234.

[ii] Ryan, J. op. cit., 1996, 233-234.