For photos and a brief history of the Detweiler Meetinghouse, see Kitchener CTV’s Amazing Architecture Series at https://kitchener.ctvnews.ca/amazing-architecture-story-behind-waterloo-region-s-historic-buildings-1.6481817
The historic Detweiler Meetinghouse created in 1855, located one kilometer straight west of Roseville is the only surviving stone meetinghouse built by Mennonite pioneers in Ontario. This was a time when love for God was evident in the love and respect for one’s own family, and neighbour while caring for the land.
Mennonite pioneers began to settle Dumfries Township in 1822. A Mennonite farmer named Jacob Rosenberger is credited for giving his name to the nearby village of Roseville. He, his wife, and two children died in the cholera epidemic of 1834.
Jacob F. Detweiler was already ordained as a minister when he came to the Roseville area in 1822. Jacob H. Detweiler, possibly a third cousin of Jacob F., who was an ordained deacon in Pennsylvania, also came to the Roseville area at that time.
Prior to 1830 the congregation met in homes for worship. In that year Samuel Snyder conveyed an acre of his land to three trustees for the Mennonite congregation for a church, school and cemetery, and the log building would have been erected here about this time at this location.
The present meetinghouse was built in 1855, and was dedicated on December 2. As was the custom of the time, services were not held in the meetinghouse every Sunday. On “off” Sundays local families would either travel to a nearby meetinghouse where services were being held – such as Blenheim, or would use the day for visiting friends and relatives.
The last service was held in the building in early 1966. In 1992 a board was put in place to restore and preserve the meetinghouse as it appeared in the second half of the 19th century. The restored meetinghouse was dedicated September 26, 1999.
Tours can be arranged to this historic site. See contact us for phone and email information.