Visiting Greenland… Manitoba

I’ve always wanted to visit Greenland. Then suddenly one day, Andrew told me that we were going to Greenland! After about a seven-minute drive, we had arrived:

Haha, okay that opening sentence is a lie. It was actually my idea to go to Greenland. I used the Historical Atlas of the East Reserve, as I often do, in order to navigate the back roads of the region in which I live… and understand the significance once I arrive at each destination.

As far as I can figure, Greenland was mostly populated with members of the Church of God in Christ (I have called them “Holdeman” in the past… and have learned this is not proper). If you visit today, you will see a few yards close together, and a well-kept cemetery, which is “guarded” by a friendly large black dog who seems starved for friends and attention.

But there’s more to Greenland than just this little area by the cemetery and former church site. You see, Andrew and I have a local phone book from 1972, the cover of which declares that it contains phone numbers for Steinbach, Kleefeld, Niverville, Grunthal, and… Greenland. Nobody really talks about Greenland anymore, except for if they live along Greenland Road. But I guess even in the 1970s folks still referenced Greenland as a local place. Though paging through this section reveals that Landmark, Linden, and some Ste. Anne residences were included in Greenland’s pages.

I’ve also referred to Royden Loewen’s book Blumenort: A Mennonite Community in Transition, which has shed some light on Greenland as well. I learned that there had even been a cheese factory here! Apparently this place was named for, well, being green land when they first saw it in the 1870s/80s (the aftermath of a flood, it being a low-lying area).

Also of note, this area was located just outside the East Reserve, and its settlement marked the first movement outside of the reserved boundaries, in 1890.

So there you go. If you want to visit Greenland, you totally can — and you don’t even have to get on a plane!