Manybones Creek: 1890

The first settlers pitched their tents on the banks of Manybones Creek in 1890. The miles of open prairie stretched before them in every direction. A group of people who lived in the Black Sea region of Russia were eager to get to America. They already formed the colony of Rastadt, and with the encouraging letter from Philipp Weisgerber (Grandfather of Most Reverend James Weisgerber, Archbishop of Winnipeg) to Victor Koch: a group of ten families decided to move to a place far away where there was, 'free land, no conscription laws and freedom to foster the German culture.'

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The First Wave

As shocking and difficult as those conditions were, these stalwart adventurers were the founders of five colonies around the Kronau and Balgonie regions of Saskatchewan(1905). Indeed from 1885-1914 almost 50,000 Germans, most of them from Russia, came and settled here. There were several more waves of pioneers after the first venture, but they were assisted by those already here.

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The First Sod Church 1895

The first sod church was built on Section 10-16-17. It was built with air dried mud bricks and a poplar tree roof cover with grass and clay.

As there was no picture available, pictured here is St Joseph's Church, which was located near Fargo, North Dakota.

Photograph permission of the Germans from Russia Heritage Collection, North Dakota State University Libraries, Fargo, www.ndsu.edu/grhc.

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