I grew up knowing all about Clearsprings! Wait. No I didn’t. But I thought I did. That’s because Steinbach’s mall is called Clearspring Centre. As a child, I loved Clearspring Centre, mostly because of its infamous red carpeted “pit” which features fondly in the memory of every child of the Eighties in southeast Manitoba.
I always assumed I knew where the mall’s name came from: a clear spring, obviously.
That may be true, but who gave this spot its English name in the first place? Settlers from Great Britain! They began moving into this area in 1870, beating the Mennonites to it by about four years. This is pretty interesting, because later the government included this area in the East Reserve, meaning, reserved for the Mennonites. Though when the Mennonites did arrive, they seemed perfectly fine with their English-speaking neighbours, and in fact you can see on some maps that the East Reserve kind of has a bite taken out of it at the Clearsprings area just north of Steinbach.
Of course by now it’s all kind of intermeshed in my mind and I’d been under the impression that the mall was where the settlement had been. This is not true! I learned this from reading the Historical Atlas of the East Reserve. It seems ridiculous to have to learn about something from a book when I live literally two miles from it. But what can I say, I haven’t (yet) navigated every single gravel road surrounding Steinbach.
A lovely gate, and such a well-cared-for place, too. I signed the guest book.
While we were here, some other people entered the cemetery. With a truck. And mowers. The folks who care for the cemetery! To me, they’re kind of rare and magical, because they’re rumoured to exist, yet I never see them. Until this very day, at Clearsprings Cemetery.
Join me for a little walk through the cemetery!
The above cairn says this:
Dedicated to all those pioneers who with hardship and toil began in 1870 to settle in the Clearsprings and Giroux districts. The log Presbyterian Church built in 1879 just to the north of this cemetery was their source of strength and guidance. May their memory inspire future generations.
The above cairn says this:
CLEAR SPRINGS CHURCH
Presbyterian 1893-1925 / United 1925-1967
This monument, erected in the year 2001, by present generations, is dedicated to the pioneers who settled around the clear running springs and rich loamy soil of this area, named “Clear Springs”. After a few years, the surnames listed below, with their hard work, courage, vision, and continued need for worship, erected their second church building, to the south of this cemetery, in 1893.
FIRST PIONEERS WHO BRAVED THIS AREA
Mack – 1869 Slater – 1869 Jamieson – 1870 Rankin – 1870 Keating – 1872 Laing – 1872 Peterson – 1872 Acres – 1873 Langill – 1873 Winfield – 1873 Carleton – 1873 Adams – 1874 Cohoe – 1874 Dykes – 1874 Glover – 1874 Gorrie – 1874 Steel – 1874 Borland – 1875 McIntyre – 1875 Tomlinson – 1875 Wright – 1875 Matthews – 1875 West – 1875 Lund – 1876 Reiach – 1877 Binnie – 1878 Burns – 1878 McCaskill – 1878 Mooney – 1878 Norris – 1878 Stanger – 1878 Anderson – 1879 Simpson – 1879 Crawford – 1880 Atkinson – 1881 Bruce – 1882 Penwarden – 1883 Hasted – 1884 Hovey – 1884
Thomson – 1884
“Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you: and consider the results of their conduct, imitate their faith.” Hebrews 13:7
Thank you for joining me for this sunset stroll through a lovely, and very nearby, cemetery!