Bergfeld Cemetery with Joe on my day off!


Continuing writing about my cemetery adventure with Joe! There was LOTS we saw.

After I had written this post in May of 2020, I received messages telling me that one of the mysterious locations I inquired about, was Bergfeld. Every once in a while I would be accused of still not having made it there.

But then, Joe brought me there!

My only regret now is that I failed to attempt to recreate the picture that so captured me from Ken Loewen’s book.

But what is there to say of Bergfeld, really? As you can see from the sign, it’s an EMMC church. There is a very nice cairn in front of the church, which says:

“This is the site of the first church built in 1937 by the Rudnerweide Mennoniten Gemeinde. The Gemeinde became known as the Evangelical Mennonite Mission Conference of Canada. Here for many years, spring and fall, a tent was erected for mission and thanksgiving festivals. ‘For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid which is Jesus Christ’ 1 Cor. 3:11 This plaque was unveiled July 4th 1987 as part of the 50th anniversary celebration 1937-1987”

But… was this also a village? For this I consulted the Atlas of original Mennonite Villages Homesteaders and Some Burial Plots of the Mennonite West Reserve by Rempel and Harms.

The book says that during the 1880s Bergfeld village consisted of five sections of land and this is where it was. It says the public road allowance ran north-south. Another regret of mine is that I do not know which way was north at this point. I was hopelessly turned around. Names associated with this village at the time were Abraham Reimer, Abraham Hiebert, Cornelius Reimer, Heinrich Bergen, and Johan Harder. The atlas says: “While Bergfeld has disappeared as an organized Mennonite village the well taken care of EMMC church alongside the prosperous farm yards abounding in the area today testify that Mennonitism can survive even where the Mennonite village system disappears.”

Apparently Jacob Y. Schantz also owned property in this village! I wonder if he ever visited his property.

Anyway. After this, Joe and I confessed to each other that we were in fact very hungry for lunch. We went to ‘The Hut’ (Ice Cream Hut) and I did not take pictures of the food. Joe and I sat there and spoke happily about Mennonite history and cemeteries and discoveries… and the other diners were very quiet. They were clearly listening to our very loud voices in that very small space. We did not acknowledge this and instead kept talking about history with loud enthusiasm. Because why would we stop?

I think that might be a better way to spread a passion and curiosity for pursuing history, than writing a blog. hahaha

ANYWAY. Once our bellies were sufficiently fuelled, we were off to our next destination. I cannot wait to tell you about it! It was amazing and will have its own post. Yay!