Detweiler Meetinghouse, Inc.

Classification scheme: 

Title: Detweiler Meetinghouse, Inc. fonds

Date(s) of creation: 1959-1984

Physical description: 30 cm of textual material

Administrative history: Detweiler's Meetinghouse, located at 3445 Roseville Road, Roseville, Ontario,  is the only surviving stone meetinghouse built by Mennonites in Ontario. It was built in 1855 and closely resembles Frick's meetinghouse in Pennsylvania. The meetinghouse replaced an earlier log school & meetinghouse built about 1830 for the congregation then led by Preacher Jacob F. Detweiler and Deacon Jacob H. Detweiler.

The meetinghouse was used until 1966 when it closed (see Roseville Mennonite Church), and ownership was transferred to the Mennonite Conference of Ontario. It was rented by other Mennonite groups on various occasions. Finally an offer to buy the building led interested Mennonite and non-Mennonite persons to appeal to the conference to preserve the building as an historic site. In 1990 a non-profit corporation, Detweiler Meetinghouse, Inc., was established (incorporation was completed in 1991) and in 1992 the property and adjoining cemetery were transferred to the new board.

The board is made up three persons appointed by the Conference (now Mennonite Church Eastern Canada), three persons appointed by the Mennonite Historical Society of Ontario and additional local community members. The original board members in 1990 who applied for incorporation were Lorna Bergey, Allan Dettweiler, Rae Hilborn, Gerald Musselman, Richard Schiedel and Norman Shantz. Added to the board by 1991 were Tom Hallman, Will Stoltz, Clayton Cressman and Reynold Kipfer.

This board oversaw the restoration of the building which was completed in 1999. Since that time the board has arranged programming (mostly musical because of the stunning acoustics of the space) and sought to rent the facility for weddings, family gatherings, etc.

Scope and content: The fonds consists of two series 1) Minutes and 2) Miscellaneous documents related to the work of the board.

Custodial History: The fonds was donated to the Mennonite Archives of Ontario by Lorna Bergey and Sam Steiner. An accrual was donated by Roy Scheer in 2014.

Notes: Description prepared by Sam Steiner, December 2008

Series 1: Minutes

  1. Board, 1991-2018
  2. Historical Committee (re: book), 1996-1999
  3. Early meetings and incorporation group, 1987-1990

Series 2 : Miscellaneous

  1. Prior to 1987 documents, including Mennonite Conference of Ontario & Quebec Executive Board minute (1985), petition to retain the meetinghouse (1987), special meeting of Mennonite Historical Society of Ontario (1979), etc.
  2. Roseville Mennonite Cemetery records, including Rules and Regulations (1979, 1993, 1996, 2004); financial statements, 1987-2017; history of the cemetery; listing of internments prepared by Ontario Genealogical Society, 1990; book containing annual minutes 1911-1927 and 1958-1960, financial records 1958-1982 (some years missing), correspondence, and a list of burials up to the early 1980s; financial records book, 1983-Jan 2007
  3. Sarah Detweiler talk on Detweiler Church, 1931
  4. Dedication day services, 26 September 1999
  5. Promotional material
  6. Detweiler: Detweiler's Meetinghouse : a History of Mennonites near Roseville, Ontario by Reg Good, 1999 
  7. Detweiler Meeting House restoration and addition plans, including site plan, floor plans, exterior elevations, washroom elevations and section thru' access ladder, Oct 1998 (unsigned)
  8. Biltmore beaver felt hat belonging to Enoch R. Detweiler (1818-1874), preacher at the Roseville Mennonite Church.
    Custodial history: Donated by the Meetinghouse by Mary Elizabeth Hope, a descendant. Transferred to the Archives in 2014.
  9. Correspondence re heritage designation, 2001, 2013


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Making an appointment with the archivist in advance is strongly recommended.


Mennonite Archives of Ontario
Conrad Grebel University College
140 Westmount Road North
Waterloo, ON N2L 3G6

Phone: 519-885-0220 x24238