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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who were staunch Methodists, opened their home as a preaching place and Sunday School. Some of the earliest itinerant ministers of that area used to hold service in their home. One of these was a frail man whom we affectionately called "little George Hanna," whose grave is in the Edmonton Cemetery.

It was not unusual for our home to be crowded to capacity with people from many miles around who came to hear these faithful and courageous pioneer preachers. The women would bring food and mother would help -prepare a meal before the congregation went home. Early Boissevain folk will remember Rev. Andrew Stewart, afterward professor in Wesley College, Winnipeg; George Long; M. C. Flatt (who once told me what those initials stood for, on condition I would never tell while he lived. I never did but I wonder how many knew his name was Menotti Carvossa?); John Ridd, a veteran curler; W. A. Vrooman; Oliver Darwin (Dr. Darwin's book "Pioneering With the Pioneers" has some very interesting memories of his time in Boissevain); "Sammy" Sharp; "Squire" Heath; and James Harrison are all names that bring memories of the first Methodist chapel in Boissevain.

"The Indians, sometimes showed their dusky faces, but they didn't teem with conversational graces," so wrote the American folk-poet, Will Varleton. Yes, we often saw Indians, but they were all peaceful, and we never had any cause to fear them. There was an Indian Reserve at Deloraine, and one at Brandon, and in berry­ picking time we used to see their caravans passing along the trail just west of our home. Once a Cree chief, a tall, fine looking man, came to our door. He could speak a little English and proved to be very friendly. Mother gave him food and then, in broken speech, he talked to her about the children. Next he said, "Me got five," and with his uplifted hand indicated the sizes of his family. Last, he pointed upward and said sadly, "Great Spirit take one." When he first came to the door he saw that mother seemed a little nervous, so he pointed his rifle away from the house, then set it down outside the door, to show she need not be afraid. Outside the house dad and the chief staged a little show of skill with the rifle, and needless to say dad's efforts brought a friendly grunt and chuckle from the Indian, as he said, shaking his head, "Too slow."

After a few years the original slab shack that dad had built was replaced by an adobe house. It was extended by adobe walls around three sides, making two bedrooms on the west side, a long room across the north, which was summer kitchen and winter storeroom, while on the east side was the large living and dining room. The centre room, the original downstairs part, became the "parlor." The walls were two feet thick, put up in layers a foot deep, which were each allowed to sun-dry before the next was put on. The material was mud and clay, mixed with hair and straw, and prepared by soaking with water and the whole mass worked over by the treading of oxen. I can still hear the heavy, sucking