Andrew has recently pointed out that I still haven’t posted about Blumenhof (East Reserve). I think this is a particular point of contention for him because he has family roots here.
If you read the history books (or the stone in the cemetery), you’ll find that the village of Blumenhof was the very first one to break up, in 1889. By “break up”, I mean that the farmers each went to their own piece of land and the folks no longer lived in a village pattern here.
However, the community still exists. There’s even a sign!
I’m not sure if that’s an actual provincial sign… or if it’s locally made. At first glance it seems official… but I’m not sure provincial signs are that detailed. I wonder if a historical society of sorts has put it up? Or a group of people living in the area?
This place called Blumenhof is about a mile off busy Highway 12, just north of Steinbach… and about a mile east of Blumenort.
Interestingly, the cemetery of Blumenhof, and presumably the original village location, was actually a mile south of present-day Blumenhof. Just like (one of) the original site(s) of Blumenort had been a mile south of present-day Blumenort. It’s almost as if both villages migrated a mile north, together.
I mentioned on Friday that Andrew and I had visited the Blumenhof cemetery… and, here it is!
The above stone reads:
Blumenhof Community Cemtery 1900-1928
The village of Blumenhof was established in 1875 on sections 23 + 24, in township 7, and range 6 east by ten Kleinegemeinde families. The village had a school which also doubled as a place of worship until 1918. The school which had been relocated was closed in 1969. Blumenhof was the first village to be dissolved in 1887, when the farmers began moving to their own land holdings.
A cemetery which had been established at the east end of the village was used until 1887. From 1887 to 1900 burials took place at several places in the area. The community started this cemetery in October of 1900 with the burial of Jacob Plett 1897-1900. Johann L. Plett 1855-1900 was buried here in November 1900. Kornelius S. Plett 1820-1900 father of Johann and forefather of the Pletts in the area was also buried here in November. This cemetery was used until 1918 when the people of Blumenhof and Blumenort built a church and started a new cemetery one mile west of this site.
I’ve gotta remember to check the back side of these things. Sometimes in my eagerness to bolt into the cemetery, I forget to turn around and look a little closer. I find the information about the two little Bernhards particularly sad.
The back of the large memorial stone says:
Jacob Plett, Johann L. Plett, Frau Isaac T. Penner (Katharina P. Wohlgemuth), Bernhard Jan.12-18, 1902, Bernhard Dec.23 1902-Jan.16. 1903, Aganeta K. Plett, Frau Johan P. Janzen (age 35 years), David Thiessen, Gertruda P. Friesen, Abram M. Friesen, Herman E. Friesen, Abe P. Friesen, Anna Wiebe, Hazel Enns, Cornelius Unger, Katharina Plett, John P. Reimer, Selma and Edgar (Kinder Von Peter L. Loewen), Frau Jacob K. Friesen, Frau Johann Janzen (Helena Dick), Frau Johann L. Plett (Margareta Warkentin), Katharina F. Reimer, Frau Klaas K. Friesen (Maria J.K. Plett), Maria P. Unger, Frau Jacob L. Plett (Maria Koop), Maria W. Wohlgemuth
1900-1928 Blumenhof Kirchhof
Erected 1990 near south-west corner of S.W. 25-7-6-E
Information compiled by Mr. Bernard P. Doerksen 1970
There’s even a neat little register that you can sign to acknowledge that you have visited this place.
The register book is covered in dust, because it’s right next to the gravel road. And it now contains my signature, too.