So, the other day I mentioned that Andrew and I have been endeavoring to find old historical sites here in the East Reserve area (also some WR adventures coming up too!) and so far we have not been doing very well. I really appreciated the information shared on Facebook in response to the post, which has given me the idea to return to ER Burwalde to try again another time (eventually).
Anyway, after our failed attempt at finding the Burwalde cemetery, I directed Andrew to head south to find the Barkfield School site. We drove through Pansy on our way, and there are some very beautiful Ukrainian sites there! Why did I not take pictures? I think I was feeling quite disappointed at not finding headstones in Burwalde.
Finding Barkfield was simple enough to do, thanks to the excellent signs put up by the EastMenn Historical Committee last year. Check it:
Andrew was insisting that I stand right next to the sign, which stressed me out because that also means standing on the property line. (Also, this is not a photo, but rather it’s a still from a short video, because we are not so great at using our iPhones all the time I guess.)
We drove down this road:
A few days later, I was at the MHV (because I pretty much always am) and that’s when I remembered the actual Barkfield School building resides there. From the book & gift store at the MHV, we purchased the book entitled Schools – Our Heritage for just $5. From this book, I’ve learned that the Barkfield School District was officially dissolved in 1968, and the building was sold to the MHV for $1.
I’m trying to figure out why I wanted to go to Barkfield in particular. I think for some reason this was always in my head as being a school that some of my family may have attended. But I have no evidence of this. I mean, my great-grandfather was a teacher at Spencer North School…which is near Barkfield, kind of. So I can’t imagine my grandma went to Barkfield, if her father taught at Spencer North…right?
According to my favourite book, the Historical Atlas of the East Reserve, the name “Barkfield” is an anglicized version of the name Bergfeld.
So. After this, we tried to find the Neu-Bergfeld cemetery…which according to the atlas is nearby. It looked like there was an approach, leading to where the village had once been! However, we simply could not see any headstones here either.
Yeah…it’s been a bit of a slow start, with regard to finding these village sites. But I figure, it’s just the beginning!