Manitoba Municipal Heritage Site No. 86

Bergthaler Church Waisenamt
48 Main Street,

Bergthaler Church Waisenamt
Designation Date: November 24, 1992
Designation Authority: The Town of Altona
Present Owner: privately owned

The Bergthaler Waisenamt is a good illustration of the mutual aid institutions introduced by Mennonites who settled in southern Manitoba in the mid-1870s. Based on a centuries-old tradition established by Mennonites in Prussia and Russia to administer estates and aid orphans and widows, the ‘Waisenamt’ gradually expanded into other financial services before its operations collapsed during the Great Depression of the 1930s. The building is an excellent example of the use of concrete blocks, a visually impressive, economical and fire-resistant construction material. The building has accommodated various functions over the years and is one of the few historic structures that still stand on Altona’s Main Street.