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Historic Sites of Manitoba: Ens Heritage Housebarn (Reinland, RM of Stanley)

Reinland in the Rural Municipality of Stanley was one of 18 villages established in 1875 by the first wave of Mennonite immigrants from Europe who settled in the Mennonite West Reserve. This T-shaped housebarn, a typical dwelling in the Mennonite villages of southern Manitoba, consists of a house section built sometime between 1900 and 1910, an attached summer kitchen, and a barn for livestock that dates from 1885.

In the fall of 1923, Gerhard G. Ens (1867-1949) and Margaretha H. Rempel Ens (1871-1955) arrived with a second wave of Mennonite refugee immigrants and purchased the housebarn. At first, they farmed alongside their adult son Heinrich and his wife Helena until they moved to their own farm. Their widowed daughter Maria Ens Andres (1903-1995) and her two children came to live with them in 1927. After her parents’ deaths, Maria Andres married bachelor Jacob F. Ens (1907-2002) in November 1959 and they lived here together until Maria’s death. Jacob moved to Winkler in January 1996 and the property was purchased by Maria’s nephew Abe Ens. Eventually, it was donated to the Reinland community centre and is opened for occasional tours. The premises and artifacts appear much as they did a century ago and depict an active rural lifestyle with the benefits of village life.

A commemorative monument in front of the housebarn, which became a municipally designated historic building in 2008, was dedicated in August 2010.

Ens Heritage Housebarn

Ens Heritage Housebarn (February 2012)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough

Ens Heritage Housebarn

Ens Heritage Housebarn (February 2012)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough

Ens Heritage Housebarn

Ens Heritage Housebarn (November 2019)
Source: Rose Kuzina

Ens Heritage Housebarn

Ens Heritage Housebarn (November 2019)
Source: Rose Kuzina

Site Coordinates (lat/long): N49.04236, W97.87020
denoted by symbol on the map above

See also:

Memorable Manitobans: Gerhard Ens (1922-2011)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Municipally Designated Historic Sites

Historic Sites of Manitoba: G. G. H. Ens Housebarn (Reinland, RM of Stanley)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Fehr Housebarn (Reinland, RM of Stanley)


Ens Homestead, 141Reinland Avenue, Reinland Village, Manitoba Historic Resources Branch.

Obituary [Jacob F. Ens], Wiebe Funeral Homes Ltd.

We thank Ernest Braun and Rose Kuzina for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 1 December 2019

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