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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July 1 was an exciting day for everyone. We set out by wagon or buckboard for the picnic at Souris. The Congregations from Victoria, Brownlea and Greenfield all attended the picnic. Dances were held in the larger homes at first and then in the schooL Music was supplied by mouth organ or violin. In the fall a dinner was held to raise money for the Minister's salary. A program of songs, dialogues and recitations made it an important occasion. A tent was set up alongside the school to serve as a hall. Threshing cabooses were. used as a kitchen and for dressing rooms. Usually a couple of cakes were auctioned off. Those people who did not dance played games and pulled taffy.

In 1928 father and mother came to make their home with me.

Father died in 1939. Mother passed away in 1943.

Mrs. E. A. Day

EARLY DAYS OF TURTLE MOUNTAIN AREA as recalled by Mrs. A. E. Cook (Formerly Georgia May Wright)

In the year 1882 my father, George C. Wright, left our home on the outskirts of the city of Belleville, Ontario, and migrated to the newly opened-up province of Manitoba (at that time usually called by Ontario folk Manitobaw). Lured by the bait of "free homesteads" he believed there were greater opportunities for him­ self and his four boys in the new West than in Ontario. Leaving mother and the family behind he travelled to the end of the rail­ road (Brandon) and took up a homestead (seven miles north of where Boissevain later was located), on property known as 22-4-20.

That first winter he lived in a dug-out roofed with poplar poles and covered with prairie sods. He had purchased a yoke of oxen, and necessary implements for "breaking" the virgin soil,and had found that wood was to be had some twenty-odd miles to the south in what was known as the Turtle Mountains. A young man, Frank Howell, had come west at the same time, and had homesteaded on a quarter section adjoining the Wright homestead.

That first winter had many hardships. On one occasion Dad ran out when he was storm bound by a blizzard for a week, and lived on beans cooked in snow-water and nothing else.

Maitland, the oldest of the four boys, followed Father in the spring of 1883, and in September of that year mother sold the home near Belleville and with the rest of the family (Webster, James, Cyrus, Harriet (Hattie) and Georgina (Dordie) ) joined dad and Mait in their new home. This was a "slab shack," one large room below and two tiny bedrooms above, and the dug-out that had been father's hom~ .. became the cellar.

Perhaps a brief'Jook backward to the home they had left in Ontario may give some hint of. the change in the lives of us all ,and