Blumenhof School and the “Here-I-Am-ers”

Blumenhof was settled in 1875 (a year after Blumenort) but was also one of the first to end village life, by 1889. However, unlike other villages that broke up early on, today you can still see many remnants of Blumenhof, and it seems like a community persisted. My mother-in-law attended Blumenhof school here, and the schoolhouse stands to this day. It seems to have been converted into apartments. This idea fascinates me… that someone would rent an apartment in a sort of community village. I don’t know why… I guess to me I always think about “can you walk the distance to work and to obtain groceries?” But likely the renters have cars and wanted to live kinda close to Steinbach and Blumenort, but not within. Perhaps they wanted to glimpse the fields outside their window. (I imagine their view of the sunrise is phenomenal!)

Apparently, there was a rivalry between the Blumenhof and Blumenort schools back in the day. Not only were they only a mile apart and their names sounded similar, but they were also just one mile apart and everyone attended the same church (the one in Blumenort). So I imagine the rivalry was friendly and fun.

The book Schools – Our Heritage documents a few points of interest gleaned from the school board’s meeting notes. For example, on January 28, 1965, a band calling themselves “The Here-Am-I’ers” asked if they could use the school to practice. The board turned them down. The book speculates that perhaps this was on account of the name. Why? I don’t get it. What’s offensive about the name The Here-I-Am-ers? Was this a riff on the Bible verse: “Here I am, I stand at the door and knock?”

Does that mean that this may have been one of the area’s first Mennonite punk bands?

Does anyone know who this was, and are they still making music today, but perhaps under a different name?

So many questions. If you have answers, I’d love to hear ’em!

I imagine baseball games were played in this field, adjacent to the schoolhouse. You can see, very faintly, the wooden backstop collapsing on the left.