Joseph Schneider Haus National Historic Site of Canada
466 Queen Street South, Kitchener, Ontario, N2G, Canada
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Located on a major arterial road in the city of Kitchener, Joseph Schneider Haus National Historic Site of Canada is a remnant of an early 19th-century Mennonite homestead. It survives as a house museum with a two-storey frame house, reconstructed outbuildings including a bake house and wash house, a period garden, an orchard, and a piece of parkland near a former mill pond. The designation refers to the elements of the house, outbuildings and landscape surviving from the early 19th century Mennonite homestead.
Joseph Schneider Haus was designated a national historic site of Canada because of its association with the main migration of Pennsylvania-German Mennonites from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania to Waterloo County in the early 19th century and because it preserves the vernacular house plan developed by the Mennonites in pre-American Revolutionary Pennsylvania.
About 1816, a homestead was established by Joseph Schneider who led the major migration of Pennsylvania-German Mennonites north from the United States in 1807. The core of Schneider’s property was converted into a museum in 1979.
Source: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minutes December 1998.
Key elements illustrating the heritage value of the site include:
- surviving elements of the early 19th-century homestead landscape including the depression from the Schneider Creek watercourse and evidence of the original land use such as the organisation of the property into formal setting and view in front of the house and work area adjacent to the kitchen;
- orientation of the house toward and set back from Queen Street;
- evidence of original vernacular design of the house including its rectangular massing, modified neo-classical exterior design and detailing with pitched roof, end chimneys, large verandah, and slightly irregular placement of window and door openings;
- evidence of traditional Mennonite plan of house interior with 4-room plan with wash house on main level and five rooms above;
- evidence of heavy timber frame construction techniques and surviving construction and finishing materials from the evolution of the house through the 19th century;
- archaeological evidence of early 19th-century Mennonite use including foundations of the original wash house, Hof and well.
Government of Canada
Historic Sites and Monuments Act
National Historic Site of Canada
Theme - Category and Type
- Peopling the Land
Function - Category and Type
- Single Dwelling
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
National Historic Sites Directorate, Canadian Inventory of Historic Building Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 525, 25 Eddy Street, Hull, Quebec.
Cross-Reference to Collection