Andrew’s First Visit To Grunthal Centennial Park

One day last summer, Andrew and I took a Saturday to tour around trying to find old stuff in the southernmost reaches of the East Reserve (now known as the Rural Municipality of Hanover). Andrew suggested that we begin with places that we knew we could find. We began by visiting the Grunthal Cemetery (because obviously). And then, upon consulting the Historical Atlas of the East Reserve, I learned that there’s a cairn at the Grunthal Park. So, I directed Andrew to drive directly out of Grunthal.

“What?” exclaimed my city-bred husband. “Where IS this park?”

“Just down the road, keep going,” I encouraged him.

And so, we arrived at the park. I was hoping to find the old Caruthers schoolhouse that had been there for quite awhile… but I’ve since learned that it had burned down. That really sucks.

But you know what’s hard to burn down? Cairns. And Grunthal Park has a few:

“In Memory of A Devoted Servant of the Grunthal Community Peter Braun 1917-1964”
I think you can probably read this centennial plaque. It’s nice to see the updated playground in the background!
“Green Valley Centennial Swimming Pool, 100: The Spirit of 70, 1870 Manitoba Centennial 1970, Project Supported By: The Grunthal Sports Association, The Rural Municipality of Hanover, The Government of Manitoba, The Government of Canada”

Most people go to Grunthal Park for motocross, or swimming, or picnics. But not us. We just go to see the cairns. We’re curious to see what people felt it was important to memorialize.

I remember once hearing the reason the Grunthal Park is located outside of the actual town — pretty sure it had something to do with that particular land being donated. (Likely sometime in the late 1960’s, judging by the dates on these cairns.) I guess if Grunthal had grown just a little more to the west, it would’ve connected itself to the park. Perhaps it’ll get there yet. (Though I hope not, because Grunthal Berries is located between the Park and the Town and I love Grunthal Berries very much.)

Here’s the thing that I’ve always loved about this park: the river. There’s a bit of a steep drop, you can walk down there, but anyway it’s definitely a bit of a valley — kind of a surprise around here, on the prairies. It’s very beautiful. I’ve never explored it as fully as I would like. And I still didn’t on this day either. NEXT TIME!