Manitoba Heritage Council Commemorative Plaques

Mennonite Settlement East Reserve

Mennonite Settlement East Reserve
Installed 1983
Mennonite Village Museum
PTH 12

On March 3, 1873 eight townships in this vicinity were set aside by the Canadian Government for the exclusive use of Mennonite settlers from South Russia. From 1874 to 1878 approximately 3,000 Mennonites settled here - the first large group migration into the recently formed Province. Their settlements were unique in their age-old European pattern of open fields where farming was done on long narrow strips of land arranged in fields around the settlements. Over fifty villages were founded but by 1923 the open field system had disappeared except at Bergfield where traces were still visible in 1960. Throughout the district Mennonite homes with their connecting barns were still to be seen.