Exploring Winkler, Part 3: Greenfarm


I looked on my map. I seemed to be pretty close to Greenfarm… whatever that was.

I mean, I had examined this area carefully on Google Maps satellite view, back when I was fixated on figuring out my Kronsgart connection. (I still have no idea about that. Maybe just a buddy of my great-grandfather lived there?)

From what I’d seen on satellite images, Greenfarm seemed to be situated in a bit of a street village position, and I was curious what it actually looked like on the ground. Might as well go check it out.

By now my expectations were very low. After all, “Greenfarm” doesn’t sound very Mennonite and I was flirting with the West Reserve’s northern boundary a bit so I wasn’t sure I’d find anything to get excited about.

But I did.

What a beautiful old cemetery! So many big old trees and headstones!

From what I could see, many were Hildebrands, and as you’ll see, there was at least one Enns. Here are some of the headstones:

After looking this up just now, I think perhaps the Enns stone below may be for siblings of P.W. Enns (for whom the P.W. Enns Centennial Concert Hall in Winkler is named) — as it seems he was born here in Greenfarm in 1912. That is yet another thing I wish I had known when I went lurking about in this cemetery.

I was so happy that I had found this place entirely on my own, just from my own random wanderings over the gravel grid near Winkler.

So what exactly is the history of Greenfarm? I have no idea and didn’t even think of googling it when I was there. A cursory glance around the internet now tells me I missed the school district (1895-1969… am I understanding that correctly??) commemorative sign. But as I said earlier this week, most school district signs don’t interest me a ton. Still would’ve been good if I’d at least noticed it… but I think you can see why I had eyes only for the cemetery (and was very pleased with this discovery!). I will say, I wish I had at least known to look to see if the original school was still standing. According to the Historic Sites of Manitoba page on Greenfarm, it was still there in 2010.

Also, a note on what I remember from driving through very slowly and weirdly: this little village is a row of homes along the north side of the road. I can’t remember there being any buildings on the south side — that was all open field. I passed a woman walking her dog. She seemed cool and artsy. I probably seemed strange and lurky, which I was. I tried to look normal and hoped I would intuit any cemetery property without staring too much at any one yard site. (And I did!) So my paranoia also may have contributed to my oversight concerning the school district commemoration. I did briefly consider stopping to chat with the woman and ask her questions about the history of Greenfarm… but I was so intent on not frightening anyone that I just kept on moving. (Slowly.) Did I do the right thing?

Anyhow. I took this last picture as I looked back one last time at the Greenfarm cemetery. It was 8:02pm and still pretty bright outside.

Should I keep exploring?

(P.S. Joe, you’re coming up soon, I promise!)