Description of Historic Place
The Ens Heritage Homestead, a 1 1/2-storey dwelling with attached barn and summer kitchen, is set in rural-like environs along the main road in Reinland. The unified wooden structure, built in ca. 1910, occupies a long narrow lot and is flanked by two wooden outbuildings. The municipal designation applies to the housebarn, its lot and outbuildings.
The Ens Heritage Homestead, a well-preserved collection of unpretentious farm structures in a village setting, authentically illustrates how Mennonites from Russia organized their early settlements in southern Manitoba. The homestead's location in Reinland, a village amidst agricultural fields, and its main structure, a large integrated housebarn, differ markedly from the building types and dispersed settlement practices followed by most other prairie homesteaders. The well-maintained housebarn, in particular, is a Mennonite adaptation of a centuries-old vernacular European building form, utilitarian in design, materials, construction and features, and suited to being located on a village lot. The dwelling's upper meat-smoking chamber has special local value because it was the only one available in Reinland. The entire site, tidy, intact and spatially well organized, is an excellent example of a pioneer Mennonite farm, developed by Abram Rempel, occupied by his extended family members for eight decades and operated by them as a heritage homestead for visitors since 1995.
Source: Rural Municipality of Stanley By-law No. 10-08, June 26, 2008
Key elements that define the heritage character of the Ens Heritage Homestead site include:
- the long narrow lot set perpendicular to the village street, Reinland Avenue, in Reinland
- the well-organized farmyard, including the practical arrangement of buildings and infrastructure, such as the water well, open spaces for equipment and animals, sheltering coniferous and deciduous trees
- the housebarn at right angles to the street, with living quarters at the front (south end), main entrance facing east, barn to the north and summer kitchen to the rear (west)
Key exterior elements that define the main building as a model Mennonite housebarn include:
- the interconnected rectangular form, long and broad, with dwelling and barn joined end-to-end by an interior hallway or `gang' with doors that separate the two
- the 1 1/2-storey house, of wood-frame construction, with a steeply pitched gable roof, large off-centre gable dormer, walls of horizontal wood siding painted white, an orderly arrangement of single tall rectangular windows, wood shutters, a brick chimney, delicate but unadorned eave brackets
- the long barn, slightly lower and wider than the house, of wooden post-and-beam construction, including a large gable roof with shed and cat-slide extensions, exterior walls of horizontal wood siding, X-braced double doors, ribbon windows on both sides
- the one-storey summer kitchen, T-shaped under a cross-gable roof, joined to the house by an enclosed passageway and similar to the house in construction, materials and fenestration
Key elements that define the dwelling's practical interior character include:
- the main-floor plan with four large rooms around a large brick stove
- the upper meat-smoking chamber or `rieja-koma' accessed by a narrow enclosed kitchen staircase
- the unpretentious materials and finishes, including thick mud-brick partition walls, horizontal and vertical wood panelling, exposed ceiling beams and boards, floating plank floors
- modest features such as the built-in living room china cabinet or `glauss shaup'
Key interior elements that define the barn's heritage character include:
- the layout, including a large loft and main floor divided by cross aisles into the stable or `shtaull' with face-to-face and face-out horse stalls and the `owesied' to the west side used for cattle
- the exposed wooden post-and-beam framework with mortise-and-tenon joinery and wooden pegs securing all major joints, the plank floors
Key elements that define the heritage character of the utilitarian one-storey outbuildings include:
- the western poultry barn with chicken coop at its south end, with a high, steeply pitched gable roof
- the eastern smithy or `schmaed' and carpentry shop, a long rectangular building of post-and-beam construction with a gable roof, horizontal board siding, concrete and hard-packed clay floors.