DOTH and I took a business trip to Winnipeg -- well, it was my business, but she came along to keep me company. Good reason for that. We must explain, rather sheepishly, that although both of us have travelled many countries of the world, the only other province we have ever visited, besides our home province of Ontario, is Quebec.
So, it was a novelty for us to visit Manitoba. We had a super time. Even the business end of it was great, and I will save that for another post. But one of our favourite activities there was to tour the Mennonite Village of Neubergthal.
Mennonites were terribly persecuted for their beliefs in the Nederlands, so they fled for their lives to first Poland, then Russia and ultimately, in the 1870s, to North America - specifically to the new province of Manitoba.
The village runs along a single street, and is one of the best-preserved Mennonite villages in North America. It is in the process of being restored. You can read all about it, and see more of the buildings here
We visited the Friesen Housebarn Interpretive Centre:
Margruite Khan was our guide. I believe she spearheads the restoration, and she was busy at work when we arrived, but took time to walk us through the centre.
The blue accents throughout the house reminded me of Romania. The Mennonites liked to use blue as a symbol of heaven (himmel).
All the furniture was, of course, handmade, and you can see three hand-made clocks in the photo above - beautiful work.
The old rocking horse
The spinning wheel
the Friendship Quilt
One for Grandma
One for the baby
And my favourite - the butterfly quilt
We went into the attached barn - still used today for community meetings
We listened to the preacher from the bleachers
Passed the outhouse (too cute!)
And then Margruite (yes, that is how she spells her name) took us to her art studio in the barn's loft.
She is a terrific artist (I think). We felt privileged to view her paintings.
She especially enjoys painting trees, and if you especially like trees, you will appreciate more of her renditions here on her website. But be sure to visit each page - all of her paintings are awesome, and her story is there, too.
More about our Winnipeg trip next time...and more, very unusual quilts!