Manitoba Heritage Council Commemorative Plaques

Mennonite Settlement West Reserve

Mennonite Settlement West Reserve
Installed 1984
Altona Town Park
Installed 1961
Gertie Avenue
Near PTH 14 and PR 32

In 1875 Mennonite settlers from the steppes of South Russia began to settle on the open prairie west of here. Within a decade 6,000 were living on the seventeen townships reserved for their use by the Canadian Government. Seventy villages were founded and the land laid out in the open field system by dividing the land around each village into long strips. This was an inefficient system for grain farming and by 1924 the open field pattern and many villages were abandoned although seventeen still existed in 1960. The Mennonite house with its connecting barn was a characteristic feature of the Settlement.