Last year can be summed up as a successful one for the Neubergthal Heritage Foundation with a lot of positive accomplishments.
Spokesperson Ray Hamm says one of the major highlights relates to the rehabilitation of the Klippenstein housebarn.
"We felt pretty good about last year because we managed to finish restoring and rebuilding the barn, including meeting the Parks Canada Budget deadline, and we were under budget," says Hamm. "Even so, we paid approximately $600,000 worth of bills last year and we have a shiny new mortgage to go with that, but we felt pretty good about all that."
In 2017 Parks Canada announced its approval for a $560,000 grant in support of the restoration work which at the time was expected to cost an estimated $900,000 when
Aside from some minor details that need to be completed, Hamm, says the next step is to develop programming for the facility. During the month of March, the foundation has had several Low German events at the housebarn on Saturdays, and Hamm noted those events have been very well received.
Hamm says they have also had several events that focused on increasing the understanding of their history, and their relationship with Indigenous people. "We feel like the stories of Indigenous people are also part of the stories of this place."
Meanwhile, Hamm says word about housebarn along the Mennonite street village in Neubergthal is starting to get out. He notes they hosted a number of groups from various Southern Manitoba communities in 2018, and have already had numerous inquiries about group tours for this summer.