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Introduction to the Centennial of the ReMe of Rhineland
The genealogy of a municipality is at best tentative. Frequent alterations of boundaries and name changes make the designation of a year of birth, and hence a centennial year, a venturous undertaking. In the case of the Rural Municipality of Rhineland the designation of a centennial year is further complicated by its anomalous beginning.
A booklet written in 1944 by H. H. Hamm, a long time Secretary Treasurer of the Municipality, argued that 1884 represented the birth of the Rural Municipality of Rhineland. I This reasoning, accepted by the present municipal council, is persuasive but should be qualified. The year 1884 marks the beginning of officially recorded municipal affairs in the area following the revision of municipal boundaries in 1883, however, the municipality was then named Douglas.
The Rural Municipality of Rhineland of that time encompassed what is now the west end of the Rural Municipality of Rhineland and the eastern most range of townships of the present Rural Municipality of Stanley. The designation of the present R. M. of Rhineland did not occur until 1916. In addition, there is evidence that there was municipal activity in the area as early as 1880.
The Municipal Act of 1880 created a R.M. of Rhineland which encompassed most of what used to be the Mennonite West Reserve. (See Figure 1) Although no municipal records exist from this time there is evidence that a council of sorts did function between 1880 and 1884.
The name Rhineland, in fact, has its origin in the early church