Manitoba Historical Society
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Historic Sites of Manitoba: Neuhoffnung School No. 1310 / Lightfield Mennonite Church and Cemetery (Municipality of Rhineland)

The Neuhoffnung School District was established in July 1904 by Bylaw 134 of the Rhineland Municipal Council. A two-room schoolhouse was built at NE33-1-2W in what is now the Municipality of Rhineland. In 1965, the district was dissolved as it was consolidated with Rudnerweide School District No. 1752 and Altbergthal School District No. 1296 to form the New Hope Consolidated School District No. 2437. The Altbergthal school building was moved to the Neuhoffnung site so all classes could be held at one location. When the two-classroom building was destroyed by fire in 1979, a three-classroom school with a small gymnasium/auditorium was built on the site to replace the original school.

Among the teachers who worked at Neuhoffnung School through the years were Elvira Schroeder Peters (1960-1961) and Henry Peters (1960-1963).

On 18 August 1971, the district became part of the Rhineland School Division No. 19. The former Altbergthal school was moved to Altona as a heritage building for restoration. The Division continued to offer elementary grade classes in the school until 2004. The grounds and building were sold about one year later to become the Lightfield Mennonite Church and private school. A cemetery on the grounds contained three gravestones, the first being on 19 July 2009, at the time of a 2020 site visit.

The original Neuhoffnung School building and teacherage

The original Neuhoffnung School building and teacherage (no date) by G. G. Neufeld
Source: Archives of Manitoba, School Inspectors Photographs,
GR8461, A0233, C131-2, page 96.

The second Neuhoffnung School building

The second Neuhoffnung School building (no date) by G. G. Neufeld
Source: Archives of Manitoba, School Inspectors Photographs,
GR8461, A0233, C131-2, page 96.

Neuhoffhung School, destroyed in 1979

Neuhoffhung School, destroyed in 1979 (no date)
Source: Henry and Elvera Peters (Altona and District Heritage Research Centre)

The former Neuhoffhung School, closed in 2004

The former Neuhoffhung School, closed in 2004 (no date)
Source: Al Schmidt (Altona and District Heritage Research Centre)

Lightfield Mennonite Cemetery

Lightfield Mennonite Cemetery (November 2020)
Source: Rose Kuzina

Site Coordinates (lat/long): N49.08846, W97.66237
denoted by symbol on the map above

Sources:

One Hundred Years in the History of the Rural Schools of Manitoba: Their Formation, Reorganization and Dissolution (1871-1971) by Mary B. Perfect, MEd thesis, University of Manitoba, April 1978.

The Rural Municipality of Rhineland, 1884-1984 by Gerhard J. Ens, 1984. [Manitoba Legislative Library, F5648.R45 Ens]

We thank Henry Unger for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Al Schmidt (Altona and District Heritage Research Centre), Gordon Goldsborough, and Rose Kuzina.

Page revised: 30 April 2021

Historic Sites of Manitoba

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