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Herdsman's House

89 Road 1 West, Altona, Manitoba, R0G, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2002/02/27

View from the southwest of the Herdsman's House, Neubergthal, 2005; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage, Tourism and Sport, 2005
Southwest View
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Other Name(s)

Herdsman's House
Klippenstein House
Maison Klippenstein

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1890/01/01 to 1890/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/08/08

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The basic wood-frame Herdsman's House is set in quasi-rural surroundings near the southern edge of Neubergthal, an early Mennonite farm village and National Historic Site of Canada, in south-central Manitoba. The one-storey dwelling, built in ca. 1890, occupies a narrow grassed lot at one end of the traditional single-street village, with a tree-lined row of rare intact Mennonite housebarns to its north and open farm fields to the south. The municipal designation applies to the dwelling and its site.

Heritage Value

The Herdsman's House, the only remaining dwelling of its type in Manitoba, is a good illustration of the facilities built for herd-marshals in the farm villages established by the province's Mennonite settlers beginning in the mid-1870s. The structure's basic materials and standardized floor plan reflect an appreciation for simplicity, order and utility, as well as the pioneer conditions under which the house was constructed. The dwelling is now an integral component of a nationally significant collection of Mennonite buildings aligned along the Neubergthal streetscape.

Source: Municipality of Rhineland By-law No. 2002-5, February 27, 2002

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the heritage character of the Herdsman's House site within the traditional layout of a Mennonite farm village include:
- the placement of the structure in a linear arrangement on a long narrow lot set perpendicular to the street, Road 1 West in Neubergthal, with the building's front facing south

Key elements that define the dwelling's external heritage character include:
- the one-storey broad rectangular plan and steeply pitched gable roof covered with cedar shingles
- wood-frame construction with horizontal board siding and plain bargeboards
- the brick chimney near the centre of the roof's apex
- the number and placement of the rectangular-shaped openings, including the windows and three doors near the west end

Key internal elements that define the heritage character of the building include:
- the main-floor plan with three spaces interconnected through doorways: the large west-end kitchen and the east-side living room and bedroom
- the kitchen's mud-brick stove for cooking and central heating
- the variety of unpretentious materials, including the mud-and-chaff-plastered perimeter walls, thick mud-brick partition walls partially lined with horizontal wood siding, floating double-thick plank floors laid on hard-packed clay and exposed squared wooden ceiling joists and boards that form part of the attic floor
- the basic finishes and details, including the built-in kitchen cupboards, wainscotting and stencilled floor boards




Recognition Authority

Local Governments (MB)

Recognition Statute

Manitoba Historic Resources Act

Recognition Type

Municipal Heritage Site

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Peopling the Land

Function - Category and Type



Single Dwelling

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

RM of Rhineland, 72-2nd Street NE, Altona, MB

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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