Chapter 9: Mennonite and Hutterite Settlements
“The Mennonites refused to bear arms and…fled from one country to another in the
“In sharp contrast to homesteaders from
They were not…able to ignore the survey system entirely but they were able initially to modify the rectangular grid to satisfy their own requirements. And from 1876 onwards they did so legally, since in that year the government amended the Dominion Lands Act to allow both Icelanders and Mennonites to settle in villages, relieving them of the normal legislative requirement that every homesteader live in a house on his own quarter section and improve the land grant he himself had received from the Crown.”[ii]
“Each homesteader signed the village’s agreement to share the land, even though the official title for each quarter section belonged to an individual. A village was established in which each settler was allocated a narrow plot of land running back from the main village street. The plot was to provide space for a house, barns, and a garden, and overnight space for cattle. The remainder of the homestead land belonging to villagers was divided into three equal parcels plus a slightly larger one for pasturage.
Each villager was given a strip of land in each of the three fields for his personal use, so that all the land in each field was allocated. This not only preserved the old village pattern of land use but also helped assure equal land quality for all settlers. In the early years, neither pasture nor fields were fenced. …Some of the villages began to disintegrate almost at once, and the majority of them disappeared”[iii] but in 1995, 17 were still in existence in the west reserve. Also the field system soon broke down and “the last of the old field systems was abandoned in the nineteen twenties.”[iv]
Because of the land division system the remaining villages have a very definite linear form that contrasts markedly with the T-type railway-based villages and the angular grid of villages based on the DLS system.
[i] Tyman, J. and D. Where on Earth: Mid Latitude Grasslands (Library Edition). Brisbane, Atham Educational, 1978, 18.
[ii] Tyman, J. and D. op. cit., 1978, 18 and 35.
[iii] See Richtik, J. T. “Mennonite Reserves” in The Geography of
[iv] Richtik op. cit., 1996, 105-106.
9.6: The Maple Grove Hutterite Colony Northwest of Lauder
9.6a: The Situation in 1968
A gravel road 1 that links up with newly constructed PR 254 2 serves a group of buildings 3 located south of the northeast-flowing Souris River 4. Some of the buildings are protected by trees 5. Surprisingly, the gravel road is not located on a quarter section line 6 but about 500 feet (152 m) to the east. At one stage a weir 7 was built across the
9.6b: The Situation in 2007
The Maple Grove Hutterite Colony, an offshoot of Richland Colony near Anola, east of
Figure 9.6.a: The Maple Grove Hutterite Colony Northwest of Lauder-The Situation in 1968
Vertical air photograph: A20811-32
Flight height: 10,300 feet a.s.l.; lens focal length: 6 inches
Scale: 1:17,100 (approx.)
Date: September 28, 1968
Location: Township 5, Ranges 24 and 25 WI
Map sheets: 1:250,000 62F Virden
1:50,000 62F/7 Hartney
Figure 9.6.b: The Maple Grove Hutterite Colony North of Lauder-The Situation in 2007
Google Image 2007
Location: Section 24, Township 5, Range 25WI