This page is a text version of the Beckoning Hills History Book. This is the story of the Turtle Mountain Area of Manitoba. You can get a PDF copy of the book on our full version page. The PDF copy is an exact page by page representation of the original book. This text version has been reformated for the web and contains text recognition mistakes. These mistakes do not appear in the full version. The full version also includes each image in the original book.

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The entire mountain range is studded with beautiful lakes which will become popular with campers when all-weather roads are built to them.

Southwest from the Wakopa district, on the eastern side, rises the Turtle's Back, a hill which is sparsely wooded but much loftier than the surrounding hills. This was the first part to be sighted by the early settlers travelling west on the old Commission Trail. Early in 1800, on his return trip from visiting the Mandan Indians in what is now North Dakota, Alexander Henry rested his party on this vantage point.

To obtain the best view of these mountains, one should travel

. to the north shore of Whitewater Lake. The forested hills, beyond the blue waters of this lake, are awe-inspiring, especially when the range is lifted even higher by one of the frequent mirages to be seen in this locality. Under these same conditions, the Blue Hills of Souris, beyond Lang's Valley, may be seen from the Turtle's Head area, a distance of over fifty miles.


When early settlement approached our area, the pioneers inherited a region richly endowed with natural beauty. The Turtle Mountains were covered with heavy timber, as were the banks of the Souris River. Wild fruit was to be found in all parts of the region, while native flowers grew in abundance everywhere.

Fire destroyed practically the entire original stand of timber on the mountain in 1896. The plow, and overgrazing of pasture land has left little of the prairie flora. The crocus, tiger lily, primrose and lady slipper have, in most cases, disappeared entirely from some districts. Strawberries that grew in profusion the length and breadth of our region, reddening the rims of vehicle wheels that passed over the prairie land, can only be found in local areas, princi­ pally in and near the Turtle Mountains. Other flowers, and native grasses too, have suffered likewise.

The breaking of the prairie and the bulldozing of bushland to make way for cultivation, have decreased the small bird population to only a fraction of the original number. Our upland game has suffered likewise, but overgunning is the main reason for the dis­ appearance of the square and pin tail grouse which were once so plentiful across our area. When springtime comes around the drumming of these birds is greatly missed by those who love nature. Pintail, mallard, canvas-back and smaller ducks are still fairly numerous, but the wild goose, whose numbers would cover whole sections of land while feeding during the spring migration, are today seldom seen in flocks exceeding forty birds.

In 1926, when the main flock left Whitewater Lake on its journey to the Hudson Bay area, it took thirty-six minutes to pass over a given point northeast of the Lake. At times the flight was thin and scattered, then the heavens would seem to be full of both