Mennonite Heritage Village

Weathering Well

By Gary Dyck

One of our specialities at Mennonite Heritage Village (MHV) is knowing how to weather well. Our thirty plus heritage buildings and monuments need constant care. Every year we need to do a couple of major projects just to keep up. In my three years here, we have already replaced three roofs, painted two barns and granary, replaced the windmill deck, fixed a broken water line with a system that is ice-proof, modified our HVAC system several times, installed a new sound system, restored our sawmill, replaced two hot water tanks, upgraded our pond area and more. All winter long we monitor our outdoor buildings, especially as the snow melts. In summer we monitor for pests. We love these wood buildings, some nearing 150 years old, and plan to have them standing tall, long after other buildings in Steinbach have come and gone. 

In our nearly 60 years of existence, we have witnessed the importance of supporting and celebrating our volunteers who are at various stages of life. Thousands of our volunteers have played a major role in making this museum what it is today. Many of our volunteers have found that reconnecting with others over their common heritage instills a greater sense of purpose in their lives. Working together on our beautiful grounds has left many feeling inspired and rejuvenated.

In the spring of 2019, former sawyer, Earl Wiens invited some guys from the coffee shop to join him in restoring our sawmill that was originally used by Conscientious Objectors at Riding Mountain national park. It took them a few months, but they got it working well just in time for pioneer days in August. As volunteers they also enjoyed the 50% discount at our Livery Barn Restaurant and so they even kept up their coffee shop tradition at the same time.  

The last two winters we have all weathered a lot. As spring arrives, may we find restorative activities that bring our community back to life. Learn more about volunteering at MHV at our volunteer orientation on April 26th! Or to hear more about what MHV did in 2021 and is doing in 2022 come to our AGM on Tuesday, April 19th at 7:30pm. 

Upcoming Events:

MHV’s galleries and Village Books & Gifts are open Tuesday to Saturday, 9am – 5pm. Our award-winning ‘Mennonites at War’ exhibit is now closed, but you can see it virtually here.

The Great Easter Egg Hunt, April 16. Bring the children and join in the fun as we hunt for easter eggs and kick-off Spring at the museum.

Annual General Meeting, April 19, 7:30pm. Members and the public are all invited to MHV’s AGM held in the Auditorium at the Mennonite Heritage Village. Come hear reports from 2021 and the exciting plans for the upcoming year. The AGM will include exciting reports and updates. There are also proposed amendments to our current by-laws to bring them up-to-date with current means and regulations. Documents including the by-laws, our 2021 audit report and MHV report booklet will be available on our website before the AGM.

Stories We Have Not Heard, April 21, 7pm. This evening of Métis and First Nations stories of settlement in southeastern Manitoba is brought to you by Hanover Teacher’s Association and MHV. RSVP ahead of time to enjoy a perogy supper in the Auditorium! 

Volunteer Orientation, April 26, 7pm. We are preparing for a full season of visitors at the museum. We love our volunteers and want to make sure that we are prepared for the work that needs to happen! If you would like to volunteer at the museum contact Robert Goertzen.

MHV Auxiliary Perogy Fundraiser, April 21, 5:00pm – 6:30pm. Back by popular demand, the MHV Auxiliary will be hosting a drive-thru perogy fundraiser night! Tickets are $20 per meal and can be purchased at