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Vineland Mennonite Cemetery

 Left: Plaque defining 'old section' as an Ontario Heritage site; circa 1798; Top right: Overview of 'old section'; Bottom right: Pathway leading up to Rittenhouse plot. Photo: [Jessica Sutton].
 

GENERAL INFORMATION


The Mennonite Burying Ground was established in 1793, pieces of the original stone wall still exist today and buried there are many of the early pioneers of the Vineland region. Next to the cemetery is The First Mennonite Church, which was established in 1801 as the oldest Mennonite congregation in Canada. The cemetery is located on what was the property of Jacob Moyer, the first Mennonite Bishop of Upper Canada.

 

Mennonites began migrating to the Twenty Mile Creek region of Niagara around 1786. It was at this time that much of the Vineland area was inhabited by German speaking Mennonites, and up until the 1890's all church services were done in German.

 

In 1986, the Mennonites in Canada celebrated the bicentennial of their settlement. Located at the cemetery is a large statue to commemorate the 200 years of Mennonite settlement and establishment in Canada. An interesting feature of the monument is that all of the stones that build up the base of the statue are from all across Canada, there are labels on each stone to identify where they originated.

 

A memorable name found in the Vineland Mennonite Cemetery is 'Rittenhouse'. Moses F. Rittenhouse is a famous name around the Niagara region. From his contributions Vineland Station gained a library, cemetery, school and recreational hall. Upon his death, Rittenhouse entrusted much of his wealth to the community development and also left monetary support to continue to run the Mennonite Cemetery.

 

Some other notable names that can be found in the 'old section' of the cemetery grounds are:

 

- Kratz: Valentine Kratz was elected as minister for the church in 1801.

 

- Moyer: Jacob & Abraham Moyer came to Niagara in 1799, bought land to plant, but quickly returned to Bucks County, Pennsylvania to round up more people to settle in the Vineland area, then called the 'Twenty'. Jacob Moyer ordained as first bishop of the Mennonite Church in 1805.

 

- Albright: Franklin Albright migrated in the late 1780s from Pennsylvania to the Niagara Peninsula. One of the original Mennonite settlers in the region. Amos Albright came in 1799 due to expensive land in Pennsylvania.
 

- Fretz: John Fretz was elected deacon of the church in 1801. Alongside Valentine Kratz they become the founders of the first Mennonite congregation in Canada.

 

These families are some of the founding families of Vineland and the Mennonite community.

 


Photo Gallery

 

 

 


TripClip Audio File

(more about TripClips...)

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

Click to play or download Vineland Mennonite Cemetery TripClip (mp3 format).


This destination is also part of the TripClip tour entitled Cemetery Tour of Niagara.
 

 

 


 

Hours of Operation

Open daily from dawn to dusk.

 


DIRECTIONS

From Toronto:

-          Gardiner Expressway W

-          Continue onto QEW

-          Merge on 403-W

-          Slight left onto QEW (Niagara/East Hamilton/Fort Erie)

-          Take exit 57 (Victoria Ave/County Road 24 toward Vineland)

-          Merge onto Marina Blvd

-          Turn left onto Victoria Ave

-          Turn right onto Rittenhouse Road

-          Destination with be on right; nearest major intersection is King Street & Martin Road

From Niagara:

-          QEW towards Hamilton/Toronto

-          Take exit 57 (Victoria Ave/County Road 24 toward Vineland)

-          Turn left onto N Service Road

-          Turn left onto Victoria Ave

-          Turn right onto Rittenhouse Rd

-          Destination with be on right; nearest major intersection is King Street & Martin Road

 


Further Information

 

The First Mennonite Church History

 

Exploring Niagara: The Mennonites and Quakers

 

Pennsylvania German Folklore Society of Ontario: The Vineland Cemetery

 

Vineland: Description of First Mennontie Settlement in Canada

 

Moses F. Rittenhouse History

 

 

Facilities

- The First Mennonite Church
- Parking lot
- Washrooms located inside church, no guarantee to be open outside of worship hours

Admission Fee

No admission

Address

3357 Rittenhouse Rd
Vineland, Ontario
L0R 2C0

Telephone

905-562-5944

GPS Co-ordinates

Latitude 43.154654
Longitude -79.402037

Administration

The First Mennonite Church
Tel 905-562-5944
Email thefirstmennonitechurch@bellnet.ca

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