The Daily Observer

A blog of urban issues, travel to obscure places, amateur photography, and blatant self-promotion.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Manitoba Vacation: Steinbach Mennonite Heritage Village

For Canada Day, I always like to get out of the city and visit a nearby town or park. This time, I visited the Mennonite Heritage Village in Steinbach. At the turn of the 20th Century, Prime Minister MacDonald allowed a group of Dutch Mennonites, a pacifist Anabaptist sect, to emigrate from Russia (where they were being persecuted) to a rural reserve in Manitoba. They would be granted an exemption from military service and would be allowed to run their own schools (taught in German). The latter promise was broken ten years later.

Some traditional Mennonite foods for sale. But I brought my own food!

The biggest attraction is the Windmill. They actually use it to grind the wheat - which they grow - into flower, which they then bake into bread and sell to visitors. The original mill was a victim of arson a few years back, but has since been rebuilt.

The exterior of the awesome windmill. There wasn't much wind that day.

Inside the mill, the gears eventually connect to a grindstone, which pulverizes the wheat.

They also had some sort of saw mill operating. The saw was attached to a belt, which was attached to the motor of an old tractor. The people working there seemed to be enjoying themselves, cutting the logs and stacking the lumber in criss-cross piles (to allow for quicker drying). I think that the wood is used for repairing the old buildings.

The saw in operation. Not the best photo, I know.

This is the guy who lifts carries the logs to the saw.

As usual, I just walked around and photographed whatever interested me. Here are a few pictures I took:

A textbook inside the (English) government-run school. They packed a surpising amount of literature in there. Notice the hole in the desk for an inkwell.

There was a huge display of farm equipment. No, I don't remember what each one does.

A tractor up close.

Inside one of the houses.

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