Before the age of news websites and social media, Steinbach residents received their news through the Steinbach Post.  

The newspaper was owned by Jacob S. Friesen from around 1915 to 1967. A replica of his printery currently sits on Main St. of the Mennonite Heritage Village Museum (MHV.)   

Senior Curator Andrea Klassen explains the building is a miniature one-storey replica based on historical photographs of Friesen’s printery. 

“We run demonstrations out of there. And inside the building, we interpret the history of printing in Mennonite life, and specifically the history of the Steinbach Post and what that newspaper meant to the local community here in Steinbach,” she says. 

She says the floors are “noticeably crooked” due to the improper foundation when it was first built.  

“What has been happening is that the wood underneath the floor has rotted and it's causing the floor inside to sag,” she explains. “It sort of feels a bit like a Dr. Seuss book because the floor is sinking.” 

She adds while the building is small, it is filled with heavy equipment that “requires a proper, solid foundation.” This includes a cast iron printing press from 1909 that belonged to Friesen and his drafting table topped with a three-inch slab of granite.  

“That's what we're seeking to do to the building. Take everything out, pull up the floor, and put a proper cement foundation down there. Put everything back and put it on solid footing,” 

To fundraise the costs of restoring the sinking printery, MHV will is hosting a Spring Gala on Friday, May 12th. The evening will feature a conversation with the CEO of the Manitoba Museum, Dorota Blumczynska, and talks about the printery and the new Russlander exhibit. It will also include dinner and entertainment. 

Attendees can have a preview of the newest exhibit at 5:30 PM and dinner starts at 6 PM. Tickets are $75 and can be purchased on the website, in person at the museum or over the phone.  

With files from Michelle Sawatzky.