What’s Kleindstadt? (Near Altona.)

Here I go again, talking about stuff I know nothing about. Yep, it’s yantzied!

As I continue to await and anticipate the forthcoming revised and reinvented West Reserve Historical Atlas (sending much love to this group of smart wonderful folks!), I had to find another way to obtain information about interesting hidden cairns: I contacted someone who knows a lot more than I do. (I love contacting people who know more than me — I think it’s my hobby, actually.)

I handed my Manitoba Backroads Map, and a pen, to this knowledgeable local, who, at my great insistence, proceeded to mark certain locations with interesting cairns. Hooray!

The next day, Andrew and I set out to find these spots. By this time, I had retained none of the information my source had given me the previous day about the significance of these dots on the map, and all that I was left with was, well, these dots on the map.

That made it pretty fun, though, actually — like a treasure hunt!

One of those dots brought us here, to this cairn, very near Altona:

It is located at one of those pretty corners, where two gravel roads intersect, there are many trees, and several homes.

I tried to find Kleinstadt in the Rempel & Harms West Reserve Historical Atlas… and, I sort of did. I mean, it was on the map at the very front. Like, the map that includes long-disappeared ghost villages, too (often in brackets). But Kleinstadt certainly was not referenced in the index. So instead, I looked for Hochstadt, which is mentioned on the cairn. This led me to a page (29) with a close-up photograph of the plaque on this cairn, so I know this page contains the most info I’m probably going to get.

Judging by the map on page III, Kleinstadt was probably over a mile from Hochstadt. But as I read page 29, in 1892, the Hochstadt school was named Kleinstadt School District # 781, H&R speculate this was probably because there was already a Hochstadt in the East Reserve (yep, where my grandfather and great-grandfather were hanging out, I do believe). This school info had not made it onto the cairn, so I’m glad I found this page in the H&R atlas.

Another thing about this location — it seems that the establishment of Hochstadt, Kleinstadt, and Eigengrund may have been the result of overpopulation in Neubergthal (according to H&R).

The cairn says:

the pioneer settlers who came to this part of the West Reserve about 1876
Remember… God… who gives. Deut. 8:18
The Kleinstadt Historical Committee
The first sessions of “Die Konferenz der Mennoniten im mittleren Kanada” were held 20-21 July 1903 in the Hochstadt Bergthaler Church at this locality.
The Conference of Mennonites in Canada
8 July 1978

I wonder what else the Kleinstadt Historical Committee was up to, back in the 1970s. Did they ever publish anything?