Renata (British Columbia, Canada)

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Renata was a small town on a stump peninsula on the Arrow Lakes, about 20 miles (35 km) northwest of Castlegar, British Columbia. The town was established in the 1880s as an ideal location for fruit growing, and it was extraordinary. It was located on a creek delta of rich soil and shielded from cold winds by the surrounding mountains. It was the ideal location for orchards in the region, and was known for cherries, apples, pears and peaches.

The Mennonite settlement in Renata began in 1907, when Frank F. Siemens from Altona, Manitoba, representing the Western Land Company, attracted 20 families from Herbert and Rosthern, Saskatchewan and southern Manitoba to take up land in the area. A number of families were (General Conference Mennonite) families from the Rosenort Church near Rosthern, Saskatchewan. Climatic and agriculture conditions were favorable and eventually there were about 50 homes in this settlement. The main occupation of the settlers was fruit farming.

Many Mennonites left Renata by the 1950s, leaving only about 10 Mennonite families.

The first ministers to visit Renata were D. J. Unruh, Herbert, Saskatchewan, in the early 1920s, and C. F. Sawatzky from Laird, Saskatchewan. Abraham Hamm, an immigrant preacher, arrived in 1923. In 1938-1953 P. P. Dyck from Rosemary, Alberta, preached here the six months of each year while he was living in Renata.

In the mid-1960s the community was relocated when a nearby hydroelectric dam flooded the valley.


Funk, Johann David. They Tell Each Other, They are Still Who They Were. The Struggle for Self Definition in Minority Cultures: The Case of the General Conference Mennonites in British Columbia. M.A. Thesis, Simon Fraser University, 1993.

Klippenstein, Lawrence. "Early Mennonites in B.C.: Renata, 1907-1965." Mennonite Historian VII, no. 3 (September 1981): 1-2; VII, no. 4 (December 1981): 2.

Author(s) John G. Rempel
Samuel J. Steiner
Date Published 2009

Cite This Article

MLA style

Rempel, John G. and Samuel J. Steiner. "Renata (British Columbia, Canada)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 2009. Web. 24 Feb 2024.,_Canada)&oldid=165860.

APA style

Rempel, John G. and Samuel J. Steiner. (2009). Renata (British Columbia, Canada). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 24 February 2024, from,_Canada)&oldid=165860.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 300. All rights reserved.

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