Rhineland Rural Municipality (Manitoba, Canada)

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Rural Municipality (RM) of Rhineland was established in 1884 as a local government unit by the Manitoba government. First called Douglas, it was renamed Rhineland in 1891 at the request of its citizens. It covers an area of 18 townships, a block roughly 18 x 18 miles, 369.388 sq. miles (923.47 sq. km.), or 230,400 acres, extending north from the United States border just west of the Red River. It includes the towns of Altona, Gretna, and Plum Coulee, and over a dozen villages, including Horndean, Rosenfeld, Sommerfeld and Halbstadt. Altona is the civic and business capital of the area. Its area is almost identical with the original West Reserve grant. In 1949 it had a population of 8,000, and in 1959 some 6,500, then being the most densely populated rural district in Manitoba. It is a prosperous rural area with almost 100 per cent of its land under cultivation. In the late 1950s it had probably the largest concentration of Mennonite population in compact block in North America, with very little admixture of population of non-Mennonite stock. The reeves, secretary-treasurers, and members of the Municipal Council have almost always been exclusively Mennonite. H. T. Hamm of Altona served as secretary-treasurer 1913-43. The largest body of Mennonites in the area is the Bergthal Mennonite Church. The former Sommerfeld and Old Colony group were largely replaced by newer immigrants from Russia in 1922-1926. The Rudnerweide group had its origin here and has most of its members in the municipality.

In 2006 the Rhineland RM had a population of 4,125, not including the 5,053 residents of the incorporated towns within the rural municipality: Altona (3,709); Gretna (574); and Plum Coulee (770).


Francis, E. K. In Search of Utopia. Altona: D. W. Friesen, 1955.

Hamm, H. H. Sixty Years of Progress, 1884-1944, Diamond Jubilee, The Rural Municipality of Rhineland. (no place of publication indicated, no date of publication indicated), Altona, 1944.

Manitoba Community Profiles. Government of Manitoba.  http://www.communityprofiles.mb.ca/index.html (accessed 29 January 2009).

Author(s) Harold S. Bender
Richard D. Thiessen
Date Published January 2009

Cite This Article

MLA style

Bender, Harold S. and Richard D. Thiessen. "Rhineland Rural Municipality (Manitoba, Canada)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. January 2009. Web. 25 Nov 2020. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Rhineland_Rural_Municipality_(Manitoba,_Canada)&oldid=96229.

APA style

Bender, Harold S. and Richard D. Thiessen. (January 2009). Rhineland Rural Municipality (Manitoba, Canada). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 25 November 2020, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Rhineland_Rural_Municipality_(Manitoba,_Canada)&oldid=96229.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, pp. 321-322. All rights reserved.

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