Burwalde, East Reserve. This place matters to Andrew and I, because it’s where Andrew’s Grandma grew up. It’s the village her parents moved to when came to Canada from Russia in the 1920’s.
We’d never heard of Burwalde until we started asking Grandma Bergman questions. Up until that point, it had been entirely foreign to us… even though it’s just a few miles away.
We felt pretty good about having found the cemetery, but still didn’t know precisely which yard site Andrew’s grandma had spent her childhood. There was only one thing to do: go for a drive with grandma.
As soon as we approached the yard site of her childhood, her immediate comfort with the place itself was telling. “Just pull onto the driveway, it’s okay!” she instructed Andrew. He did as she told him. And there we sat, facing the yard site and she told us about a few happenings on that yard — how the youth from church would play baseball and have picnics here.
Why did the youth from Burwalde MB Church spend time on their yard? Because it was across the road!
The church itself is no longer there… but this sign sure is! It looks like it’s actually been posted pretty recently. I mean, I’ve never traveled down this road before so maybe it’s been there a long time and it just weathers really well… but it seems to me that someone is taking excellent care of the history of the East Reserve Burwalde area these days.
But did you know… the original Burwalde MB Church building still exists and is in use today? It’s true! According to the Historical Atlas of the East Reserve, in 1949 the building was purchased by a Chortitzer congregation in Steinbach and moved to Hanover Street. In 1956, the United Church purchased the building and moved it to its present location, on Main Street in Steinbach, right next to Helping Hands Food Bank.
Here are some photos!
You kind of have to use your imagination… and also know what these old churches had looked like. You’ll notice the middle part of the church pictured above has that high peaked roof you’ll see in these early church buildings.
I’ll be the first to admit that these are not the greatest pictures. Andrew and I were simply going for an early evening stroll when I decided it was time to take some pics for the blog for once. But, I think you can get the idea.
One more thing! When Andrew and I were driving around Burwalde (East Reserve) with his grandma, we re-visited the cemetery, and found that it’s looking better every time! Check out its latest addition — a beautiful iron gate! So glad that someone is taking care of this heritage cemetery.
Here are my other two, older posts about Burwalde, East Reserve: