Up until now, I didn’t know much about Rosenfeld.
Okay okay I’ll be honest, I still don’t. But at least I know where it is now!
This past summer, Andrew and I were on a bit of a whirlwind tour of yantzied, and I told him we might as well stop at Plum Coulee. “It’s just over there!” I pointed as we headed north on Highway 30 from Altona.
Let me tell you, it didn’t take us long to see that we were not in Plum Coulee, but rather, Rosenfeld. (Thank goodness for clear signage to straighten me out!)
“This is good too! Yes, let’s check out Rosenfeld!” I declared.
It’s not very big, so we quickly located the cemetery and parked on a lane nearby, next to this old building. I wonder if it’s the oldest building in Rosenfeld?
Across the street was a little shelter, cairn, and a historical marker!
We hurried to read all the things.
The historical marker says:
“Mennonite Settlement. West Reserve. In 1875 Mennonite settlers from the steppes of South Russia began to settle on the open prairie west of here. Within a decade 6,000 were living on the 17 townships reserved for their use by the Canadian Government. Seventy villages were founded and the land laid out in the open field system by dividing the land around each village into long strips. This was an inefficient system for grain farming and by 1924 the open field pattern and many villages were abandoned. The Mennonite house with its connecting barn was a characteristic feature of the settlement.”
The plaque on the cairn is definitely showing its years, but it’s still legible! It says”
“To all those pioneers and settlers who founded and developed the Village of Rosenfeld and community, we respectfully dedicate this memorial on the occasion of this centennial year of the Province of Manitoba on August Second 1970. The site for this cairn Lot 18 was donated to the Village of Rosenfeld by Mr. A.J. Thiessen.”
This cemetery is interesting because the graves seem to be pretty tightly collected. I feel like we don’t see that often in the Manitoba Mennonite cemeteries we visit.
To be honest, villages that start with the name “Rose” all kind of swim together in my mind at some point (Rosetown, Rosengard, Rosenbach, Rosenort…) but it was in 2018 that Rosenfeld kind of imprinted itself in my mind as a place I ought to check out. That was the year they published their history book!
After that, I started reading the Rosenfeld column in The Carillon… which is also interesting, because The Carillon is published in Steinbach, and Rosenfeld is yantzied! Apparently Rosenfeld has been a column in The Carillon for so long that it’s just a matter of fact. I think it’s pretty cool they have a Rosenfeld column and I enjoy reading it… and reading about the excitement surrounding the launch of their history book.
From what I can figure from those historical signs, and from the Rempel-Harms Historical Atlas of the West Reserve, the original village of Rosenfeld was a few miles west, near the Buffalo Creek. The Atlas contains a charming hand-drawn map of the original village, placing it in the crook of the Buffalo Creek and the CPR rail line… which, when I look on google maps, seems to be one mile south of present-day Rosenfeld. (Only a slight bit west.) I wonder if there’s a cemetery there on the original village site…
I do have to say, it’s unfortunate that I overlooked learning about the self-guided Rosenfeld history tour.
Always more to learn. Obviously we’ll be returning next summer and I’m going to get my hands on that map!