Visiting a Delegate’s Grave at Cairn Corner!

This is a sight many Gretna residents know well.

Located at the junction of the 30 and the 243, Cairn Corner is, well, a collection of cairns on a corner. I was intrigued, and we went in for a closer look!

First, we see this main cairn, which was put up in 1950 to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Mennonite settlers arriving on the West Reserve. Apparently 3000 people showed up to the unveiling ceremony!

If you look closely, you’ll see pictures etched into the bottom half of the cairn.

We mainly wanted to see Cairn Corner because this is where Heinrich Wiebe, one of the Delegates, is buried. You know, the Delegates who were sent by the their communities to check out North America and see if it would be a good idea to move the their people across the ocean.

Heinrich Wiebe was a minister on the Bergthal Colony in South Russia. He settled here in the Gretna area and was a minster to a congregation in Edenburg until he died in 1897.

This is also the burial site of David A. Schellenberg. The plaque says he immigrated in 1878 with his wife Aganetha Neufeld, and this was their homestead — right here where Cairn Corner sits today.

I made sure to do a thorough walk-around of the site, in case there were any other relics to be observed. I found none. It is a very well cared for site.

Cairn Corner is also a stop along the Post Road… but that will get its own post. (Interesting how the word “post” has changed over time!)