Visiting My Great-Great-Grandparents at Prairie Rose

Spoiler alert! They are no longer in the land of the living.

Rather, I found them here:

But then, you already knew that was the way this was gonna go.

First, because most of us are not lucky enough to get to interact with our great-great-grandparents, as that generation generally passes on before we’re born.

And second, because I go to a lot of cemeteries.

If you visit the links below, you’ll see that I’ve mentioned before that Johann/John and Sarah/Sara Koop moved from Neuanlage to Prairie Rose… but I didn’t know much beyond that. Grandma Online told me where to find their burial place, and I’m grateful for this. Also¬†thanks to Grandma Online, I knew that great-great-grandmother Sara(h) Baerg Koop had been born in Crimea! I find that fact fascinating. I supposer her father Peter Baerg, being a preacher, had been commissioned by the Kleine Gemeinde to go begin a new KG outpost in Crimea? They hadn’t been there long — maybe around a decade — before they immigrated to Canada in 1874.

Actually, now that I look a little closer, I realize that Sarah and Johann were on the same boat when immigrating. They were both on The Austrian in 1874; he was 11 years old and she was 10 years old. They must have met each other as children on that incredible voyage!

I collect many books but am fairly disorganized, and for several months I had “lost” the copy of East Reserve Reflections by Karen S. Peters… but I’m thrilled to say that it has recently been located here within my “library”.

From this book, I have learned something entirely new about my great-great-great-grandfather:

“Among the early settlers coming into the area was a man by the name of John B. Koop who upon seeing the severe flooding which devastated the local farmers year after year, mapped out the area and designed a drainage system which in later years was used by government engineers to control the water problem.” (written by Barbara Reimer Plett)

What?

Whoa.

Okay, that’s really cool. This spring when I drive around the Prairie Rose area and notice flooding and drainage, I will think of my great-great-great-grandfather.

Okay, also, what’s with the name Prairie Rose? I think it’s an indication of two things. First, the area was lovely and filled with wild roses. Second, this settlement was not among the original villages; it was established later, when the Mennonites were “running out of land” again and had to purchase more outside the boundary of the East Reserve… and by this time they named the place in English, not German. I have to say, I find that odd, but I suppose it’s just an indicator of time having passed and the local Mennos adapting to being educated in English or something. BUT did that stop the government for renaming the place anyway? NOPE. Today, this place is called Landmark.

Other posts about the Baerg family: 

The Handwriting of My Great-Great-Great-Grandfather, Peter Baerg

Neuanlage: The Koop Village?