The Other Steinbach Mural


I really like murals. I know there are many gorgeous new murals cropping up throughout Winnipeg and I haven’t seen very many of them yet. The ones I have managed to see are striking. Artistic. They make an impact, they draw you in.

I feel like the murals in small towns are not always like that. Certainly Steinbach doesn’t have any like this. (Please, PLEASE prove me wrong!)

In fact, when I think about murals in Steinbach, I mostly just think about ones that have been painted over, such as this, which I call the OG Steinbach Mural:

Melissa Hildebrandt Thiessen sent this picture to me in 2018. I have never forgotten. Unfortunately I cannot locate the conversation we had.

Do you remember it? It depicted the last housebarn, the steamer with the first Mennonite settlers, and I believe that couple depicted are my great-great-great-grandparents, Peter K. Barkman and Anna Toews Barkman.

I think that mural had been painted on the side of the feed mill that is downtown, at the corner of Main & Friesen.

One day, the historical mural was just… gone.

It’s not the only one. There was another mural, a field of flowers and cheery buildings, which I believe schoolchildren helped with. That colourful mural always made me smile. It used to line the wide sidewalk that leads from Main Street to the entrance of Elmdale Elementary.

One day, it too, was just gone.

Which makes it all the more amazing that this one is still around:

Recognize it? I wonder what the story is behind this mural. Also, I’m realizing now that all the murals Steinbach has ever had, have all been within 3 blocks of each other, on the sides of buildings that front Main Street, all on the northeast side of the street!

Somehow in my head I imagine this particular mural may have originally had something to do with Henya’s Hen House. I think that was a restaurant a loooooong time ago (early 1980s?). But I could be very wrong.

I’m intrigued by how old and weird and rugged it is. I like that it depicts a farm, complete with a tractor and a barn which I’m assuming once was red.

Somehow it’s managed to stick around, up until now. But honestly, I wonder if it’s just a matter of time before it too, disappears.

Other posts about murals: 

Murals of Steinbach

Learning About History from Murals in Morden

100 Years of New Bothwell, 145 Years of Kronsthal