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Detweiler Meetinghouse

Check here for upcoming events at Detweiler


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.

Theme for 2015

Commemorate with us 160 years of the fellowship, worship and the community life of those who were part of the Detweiler House community through the years.

The program Committee encourages each event to incorporate information related to this theme. In this way many aspects of Detweiler Meetinghouse's history will be highlighted throughout the year.

The Detweiler Meetinghouse thus provides an ideal historic setting for special events :
  • Weddings
  • Bus Tours
  • Family Reunions
  • Literary readings
  • Musical events
  • Society Meetings
  • Anniversaries
  • Funerals

    (See contact us for further information on arranging an event for the meetinghouse, or to obtain more information on the cemetery.)

Historical Design features of this meeting place setting include:
  • the 160 year old warm pine floor and furnishings
  • original antique window glass, channeling in natural sunlight
  • 2 foot thick granite field stone walls built by the pioneer farmers
  • granite fieldstone from nearby farm fields
  • Toil and Grace: a afternoon of music and poetry
Upcoming Programs:

  • June 7, 2015. Ninth Annual Harmonia Sacra Shaped Note Singing. 2:30 p.m. Song books will be provided. Led by Laurence Martin and Bob Shantz.
  • August 22, 2015. Central Ontario All-Day Sacred Harp Singing. 9:30 a.m.- 3:30 p.m. There will be dinner on the grounds. Ontario singers are requested to bring plenty of ready-to-serve food to share. There are no warming facilities.
  • September 19, 2015. Doors Open. 10:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Visit and learn more about this historic meetinghouse.
  • September 27, 2015. Sixth Annual Contemporary Hymn Sing. 2:30. Sing more contemporary and international Mennonite music! Led by Mark Diller Harder.
  • October 4, 2015. Community Memorial Service. 2:30 p.m. Led by Rev. Scott Brubaker-Zehr, Sam Steiner and Will Stoltz
  • October 18, 2015 Twelfth Annual Gospel Vespers, 2:30 p.m. with focus on the Life Songs II, led by Robert Shantz. Opportunity to sing your favorite hymns. A Free will offering to support upkeep of the meetinghouse will be taken. Annually, the Sunday after Thanksgiving. Led by Bob Shantz.
  • November 8, 2015 Fourth Annual Male Chorus Sing. 2:30 p.m. Music will be provided. Led by Bob Shantz.
  • November 29 , 2015. Fourth Annual Welcoming Advent. 2:30 p.m. Led by Lifted Voices.
  • Your wedding or other family milestone celebration.

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