Very excited! Andrew and I have moved! We’re still in Steinbach — we’re just in a little less time-consuming home. (We are saying good-bye to yard work.) We tend to be a little more indoorsy than outdoorsy… but of course there’s a massive exception to this rule: our love of exploring cemeteries!
We’d actually rather be exploring the actual villages… but these have long since passed from existence.
Today I’m going to revisit Schoensee in my mind and memory. This was one of my very most favourite sites to have visited, because the street and foundations of the this village have actually been preserved all this time! It’s not a museum or a preserved heritage site. It simply IS. It still is. And this is remarkable for an abandoned village in the East Reserve.
I won’t show pictures of the foundations again — I’ll just post the link below. Instead, I’ll take you on a little tour through Schoensee’s cemetery, and dip into a bit of the village’s history as recorded in the Grunthal History book.
Okay, here’s where the Grunthal History book (published 1974) comes in. LOOK at the pic below!
Yes — that’s the very same headstone. Now, back in the day, all the Mennonite men were called by their first two initials. (And their wives had that very same name, just with “Mrs.” in front.) So, I wonder if maybe everyone who read this at the time nodded their head and thought, “Ah yes, A.D. Friesen. I know him well.” But I do not know who this was. There’s a clue below…
So. A Friesen from Altona. I wonder… did the Friesen printing empire have its roots in Schoensee?
Now, from here, we can piece together a bit of the break-up story of Schoensee.
Uncovering Remnants of Schönsee: Mennonite Village est. 1875