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Hamm Mennonite Housebarn Now A Museum

The village of Neubergthal, in which the former Hamm Housebarn sits, is a National Historic Site, recognized for the impressive number of surviving traditional- style “housebarns” that characterized almost all early Mennonite street villages in Manitoba.

This vintage house was built by Bernhard and Helena Hamm in 1901. Their daughter, Margaret, and her husband Abram Friesen lived here for many decades before the building was finally vacated in 1986.

The housebarn is a model of its type, with most of its original features having survived intact.

In 2002, the structure became the object of a major restoration project under the direction of the Neubergthal Heritage Foundation – a community organization overseeing the ongoing conservation of heritage buildings and Mennonite crafts in the village.

To begin the initiative, the Rural Municipality of Rhineland designated it a Municipal Heritage Site on February 27, 2002. Since then, with the aid of many donations, grants, gifts and countless hours of volunteer labour, the building now has been fully restored.

It boasts a distinctive central brick-baking and heating oven, period furniture and many traditional Mennonite decorations and components, such as its two-piece “Dutchstyle” door.

The barn section, with its distinctive stalls, window rows and barn doors has also been fully restored. The Hamm housebarn is currently maintained and operated as a museum and community resource.

Financ i a l assistance for the restoration included, among other sources and in addition to local fundraising efforts: the Thomas Sill Foundation, the J.M. Kaplan Fund; the Kathleen Richardson Foundation; the Burns Family Fund; the Province of Manitoba’s Designated Heritage Buildings Grants and Community Places programs, and the RM of Rhineland.

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