Lenore Residents Preserve Area Home
Lenore - Across
the road from St. Anthony's Catholic Church
adjacent to a beautiful grotto commemorating Lake Lenore residents who
fought in both world wars, is the house that Bernard Gerwing built.
built the two-storey, two room cabin in 1903 as the first house in the
Lake Lenore area, Gerwing had no idea it would be recognized in 1979 as
an official heritage site by the Saskatchewan government. The Province
wasn't created until 1905.
well made residence was awarded this distinction in early November,
thanks to the efforts of many of the 400 people in this village
190 kilometres east of Saskatoon.
Sign tells visitors of
the significance of the Gerwing House
house was moved from its original site about
half a kilometre west of Lake Lenore in 1977, and restored to its
original state in 1978 to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Roman Catholic
diocese of Muenster, which includes Lake Lenore.
year a celebration was held to mark the 75th
anniversary of St. Anthony's parish, and the shingled
steeple of Lake Lenore's first church has been erected next to the
Gerwing residence as a further reminder of the community's heritage.
of the work in restoring the home was done by three Lake Lenore residents -
Albert Kolbeck, Math Forster, and Tony Britz. The three did some shingling,
replaced some logs and did a nice job of refinishing the place, but in the main
they were most impressed with the workmanship that went into the original
purposely left part of a wall bare to demonstrate how willow laths cut and
shaped by Gerwing and his brothers furnished the home's interior for plastering.
All of their labor was volunteered, as were donations of time and furniture by other
residents, service clubs and church groups.
Unplastered section of
willow and poplar laths cemented
pioneer wood burning stove, numerous period household items and tools, and some
religious artifacts sparsely decorate an authentic looking interior. Kolbeck
said about $3700 has been spent on moving and fixing up the house, and the
province is committed to picking up about 60% of the tab under its heritage site
Riederer, whose mother Agnes, was married to Gerwing and was the first white
woman in the area, said 13 people spent the winter of 1903-1904 in the home.
Because it was the only home in the area, travelers were welcome.
by the community
following spring saw more people coming to homestead, many of them from
Minnesota like Gerwing. Rev. Joseph Ackerman of St. Anthony's parish said the
first mass in the area was celebrated in the Gerwing house in 1904, and the
first Lake Lenore church was built shortly after.
died around 1906, and Reiderer's late mother married his father shortly after.
The pioneer house was vacated for good about 1916 0r 1917.
Lake Lenore townsite moved from an area half a kilometer north of the present
community in 1920 when the railway come through to the south. Reiderer's father
eventually built a house a short distance from the original Gerwing residence,
and the son currently lives in a new house near the same site.
by Pat Gerwing