We Fell in Love with the Property and we just had to have it.
CherryHill is your community but first it was our home. We, Harry and Joan Fehr, purchased the 104 acre property in 1998 after many walks spent admiring it from a distance. We fell in love with the romantic aspect of owning this property. It had a creek running through it, a long winding driveway, a 50 year old hip roof barn, and a gravel pit.
THE ORIGINAL PROPERTY
CherryHill was originally homesteaded by the Wiens family. The original farmhouse was on the east side of the driveway across from the barn where the turnaround and small parking area is now located. The farmhouse burned down and the new ranch house was built by Abe and Myrna (nee Wiens) Warkentine.
The barn was built in 1945 by Mr. Henry Wiens and a group of local expert barn builders (Kornelsons from Ridgewood), using indigenous trees and their onsite sawmill. They did an amazing job being as the barn was still standing, while most of the barns that age were collapsing and falling apart. They designed and built the roof in a way that as it aged, it never sagged and so withstood the test of time. It was built on a gravel ridge so the foundation is still the original.
THE HISTORIC RIDGE TRAIL
The property is smack in the middle of a ridge. An old trail wound its way along the top of the ridge all the way from Steinbach to Giroux. The trail emerged from the south at site 113, progressed past the internet tower and right through the new house, then continued along the present driveway – crossing over the road to Quarry Oaks in the same fashion. In the early days of the last century it was used as the primary road, or rather trail, for the supply wagons and horses to load up at the train station in Giroux and bring supplies back to Steinbach, conveniently making its way through farmsteads along the route. As a young man, Joan’s grandfather, Peter H.W. Reimer, made this trip for their H.W. Reimer stores and businesses. There were farmsteads and wells along this route to rest and allow the horses to drink
THE DEVELOPMENT OF CHERRYHILL
HARRY'S BAR CLUBHOUSE
Slowly we started restoring the barn, replacing the upper floor with wide barn boards milled at a special one man sawmill because they were not manufactured anymore. The cow gutters were removed and fresh cement poured, wood burning pizza oven and barbeques were built. The locally famous mason, Ralph Krentz, freely offered his expertise in building the brick ovens that are still in perfect condition. Both the bars and furnishings were purchased at auction from the former “Mother Tucker’s” restaurant and bar in the old Masonic Temple building in downtown Winnipeg.
At the same time we started clearing the overgrown areas of the property, manicuring it, and enjoying the lifestyle. The gravel pit was revived and in the process, a much larger and deeper spring fed lake was formed. When the gravel was completely removed, the lakeside was landscaped and beautified into the park like setting you see today.
THE CHERRYHILL NAMESAKE
The ridge is prolific with berries. Joan's dad, Bernie Doerksen, told stories of how he walked all the way from Steinbach as a young boy to hunt and pick berries on the ridge. There were and still are some chokecherries, pin cherries, and blue berries for making delicious pies, jams and jellies.
OPENING THE PARK
In 2005 we opened “Harry’s Bar” in the barn and the first 35 sites on the west side of the lake in the RV Park. The first site holder was Jim Henderson, a Steinbach lawyer, site 16. He plunked a wad of cash down onto the bar consisting of a thousand dollars and we were open for business.
THE FEHR FAMILY
SEAN AND JANICE
Our son and daughter in law, Sean Fehr and Janice Froese, and their three daughters Carollyne, Sarah, and Mercedes worked and developed the property, including the restaurant, bar, and wedding facilities, until their family expanded into other areas. Sean and Janice are owners at CherryHill, however they are not active in the day to day activities.
LEE AND DANIELLE
In 2014, we invited our son Lee Fehr, and his partner Danielle Denis from Vancouver to join us at CherryHill and help us in the operations. Lee has many years of experience in the construction field and now handles the maintenance at the hill. Danielle has many years of experience in community service administration and joins us in administration and bookkeeping at CherryHill. Lee and Danielle were very excited to move from downtown Vancouver to the country, and love their new lifestyle at the hill. They are a welcome asset to CherryHill as we move into the next phase.
“Make Yourself at Home!"
The lifestyle at CherryHill Living is inspired by Harry and Joan Fehr