This past summer, Andrew and I spent a day exploring the West Reserve. (Obviously one day is NOT enough, but it’s all we had!) I had asked for suggestions as to lovely cemeteries to visit. And we were pointed in the direction of Eigengrund.
It’s very near Altona. That must be why it says “Altona” at the top of the sign.
I was thrilled to take this lovely little path into the midst of the section where the tall old cottonwood stood guard.
So. Does anyone know anything about Eigengrund? I don’t, and the Harms-Rempel atlas says precious little about it, either. So, I googled it. I learned that “Eigengrund” apparently means “privately-owned land”.
Also, I found this page online, which says:
“This photo is of Ron Braun [aka Joe Braun] standing on the left side of the marker erected at the Eigengund cemetery west of Altona, Maniotba. On the right side is his bother Ken Braun. The cemetery was over grown and almost forgotten for decades when around 1990 it was cleaned up due to a perons whanting to be burried there. Since then the cemetery has become active.”
(Note: I apparently don’t know how to use MAID, because I couldn’t figure out how to get that photo to show up.)
The below cairn says:
“Johann’s family arrived in Moorehead Minn from Russia in 1875 and moved west of Fargo in 1876 and then settled in Canada about 1878. Their family homesteaded this quarter section in 1880. Sarah’s family arrived in Canada from Russia in 1874 and settled on the East Reserve. They moved to the West Reserve in 1881. Sarah and Johann were married in 1883. They raised a family of twelve. Sarah being a kind and gentle person was loved by all. This monument was dedicated to her parents by Susanna Harder in 1989.”
I have a problem with the statement about Sarah being a kind and gentle person who was loved by all. This rankles me. I mean, I’m sure it’s a true statement. And I can think of many kind gentle women whom I love a lot. BUT. It irritates me that this is the only thing about her that was important to point out. It’s so innocuous, so vague, as if everything else she did in her life, every other characteristics she demonstrated, were nothing compared to how “kind and gentle” she was. I feel like this kind of message perpetuates the idea that women must be nice and agreeable all of the time. NO. I will be nice to people if I feel like it. But I never feel an obligation. I reject the idea that women have to be consistently “kind and gentle”. I’m concerned that this kind of socialization is what makes women become victims of violence — not being socialized to know in the moment that they are right to be furious and turn around and announce the man behind them is groping them and now there’s hell to pay. Or whatever situation. You know what I’m saying. Viva la difficult woman! /rant
Anyhoosle. Here’s another cairn!
This cairn says:
“No one and none are forgotten. Placed here in memory of descendants of the following families who are buried in unmarked graves:
Jacob & Katharina (nee Schwartz) Braun family A
Johann & Maria (nee Nickel) Schwartz family B
Johann & Sara (nee Schwartz) Braun family C
Abraham & Anna (nee Falk) Braun family D
Wilhelm & Katharina (nee Rempel) Schwartz family E
Aganetha Braun 11 Mar.1883 3 Aug.1884 A
Agatha Braun 18 Nov.1870 3 Aug.1884 A
Katharina Braun 4 Dec.1871 6 Aug.1884 A
Maria Schwartz 17 Jan.1886 12 Feb.1886 B
Peter Braun 29 Jan.1887 29 Jan.1887 C
Katharina Schwartz 13 Aug.1884 1 Dec.1887 B
Helena Braun 18 Dec.1889 7.Oct.1895 D
Bernhard Braun 2 Feb.1900 2 Feb.1900 D
Peter Schwartz 16 July 1900 16 July 1902 E
Agatha Schwartz 12 Sept.1897 1903 E
Johann Schwartz 20 May 1890 1903 E
Gerhard Braun 1 Feb.1907 20 Feb.1907 D
Agatha Schwartz 23 July 1903 1907 E
Jacob Braun 14 July 1911 14 July 1911 C
Abraham Hiebert 22 Mar.1849 8 Apr.1913
Anna (Put) Janzen
Helena Braun 10 Sept.1905 10 Sept.1905 D
Jacob Braun 28 Mar.1916 3 May 1916 C
Jacob Braun 26 Jan.1917 26 Jan.1916 D
Heinrich Braun 24 Dec.1917 25 Nov.1918 D
Aganetha Braun 20 May 1919 29 May 1919 C
Jacob Braun 2 Sept.1918 21 Oct.1919 C
Martin Braun 25 Nov.1920 30 Nov.1920 C
Johann Braun 22 Nov.1923 23 Nov.1923 C
Bernhard Braun 16 Nov.1925 17 Nov.1925 D
Lena (Helen) Braun 4 Jan.1928 4 Jan.1928 C
Jacob Braun 26 Feb.1939 26 Feb.1930 D”
Those names and dates tell many sad stories.
It really is a lovely cemetery, almost like an oasis in the middle of a field. Wonderful the way it’s been kept up. Check out this charming bench, under a HUGE cottonwood!
Andrew sat upon the bench, in the shade, while I explored.
Thanks for joining me in my exploration of Eigengrund. I wish more cemeteries were kept up like this. If you know about this spot, please let me know!