Mennonite Heritage Museum
The Mennonite Heritage Museum is located on Clearbrook Road near the TransCanada Highway in Abbotsford. It opened in January 2016 as the first museum in the Fraser Valley dedicated to the history of the Mennonite religious-cultural group.
This museum features a permanent exhibit hall telling the story of the Mennonites from their beginning in the 16th century. Its displays tracing to 500 years back relive these religious folks’ early days with the Anabaptists. From these exhibits, museum visitors will learn how the Mennonites’ faith spread across northern Europe then onward to Canada.
The displays in the Mennonite Heritage Museum come in various media, such as artifacts, films, and interactive digital exhibits. In addition to its permanent displays, the museum also regularly holds rotating exhibits focused on certain Mennonite themes. These temporary displays typically feature artworks local Mennonite artists and contributed exhibits from other Mennonite archival centers and museums.
In a visit to this museum, you’ll learn about the timelines and circumstances of the Mennonites from Russia and Prussia/Poland moving to British Columbia. Viewing the museum’s exhibits will also let you appreciate the importance of agriculture to the Mennonites, especially to those who moved to Fraser Valley.
The latter theme is highlighted in a traditional Mennonite house-barn, a permanent exhibit on the 5.7-acre grounds of the museum. Opened in 2021, this house-barn features replica and period items showing late 19th century life for Mennonites living in Russia.
The museum grounds is also delightful to visit, with its landscaping that blooms with flowers of nearly 400 rose bushes. Several gardens have also been developed on the museum’s yard. Visitors can enjoy the outdoor seating provided here.
Outdoor seating is also available on the patio of the museum’s coffee shop. After a tour of the museum, you can enjoy soups and baked items at this coffee shop. Many of the food it serves include fresh ingredients harvested from the orchards and farms adjacent to the museum.
The Mennonite Heritage Museum also boasts a small theater and a bookstore/gift shop. It also hosts various special events including its popular annual Mennonite Christmas Market. When in season, fresh blueberries from the museum’s nearby property are available for visitor purchase, with U-pick an option.
Next in this series you can learn about Reach Gallery Museum.