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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we are glad for the rigor and discipline of those early days. We had lots of fun and good times. It was even fun to leave home at nine o'clock Sunday morning with the old oxen hitched (or yoked) to the bob-sleighs, in order to get to the old Methodist chapel. Settlers went to church twice on Sunday, to Sunday School after the morn­ ing service, and then again for the seven o'clock evening service. There was no closing down of church services for two months in the summer, and in many a home there would be found week-night groups in "cottage prayer-meetings." Beside regular church and Sunday School, the old-timers will remember "class-meetings" and "love-feasts," with "testimony meetings" prior to sacrament.


One of the earliest settlers in the Royal District was a jolly Irishman and his equally jolly and big-hearted wife and their small daughter. Jim's place, now known as the W. Moncur farm, was just a short walk south of the site of Royal School, 15-4-20, later moved to its present locale.


Two of the best known hunting grounds in the area were White­ water Lake, a large, somewhat swampy body of water lying about five miles northwest of Boissevain and about equally distant south­ east of Deloraine, and Pelican Lake, where Ninette Sanatorium now is located. Whitewater Lake was a hunters' paradise in spring and fall when the ducks and geese were on migration.

Pelican Lake was noted for its fish, especially big jack fish. One winter the two older Wright boys, Mait and Webb, with two cousins, Edgar and Gus Wight, built a small shack on bob-sleighs, installed a stove and bunk and trekked with oxen the twenty miles from the homestead to Pelican Lake to fish. While there they encountered a group of hardy folk from Scotland, called "Crofters," and found them friendly and helpful.

One day Webb had hauled in a big fish, and as he shook it free of the hook, tiny minnows fell from its mouth. One old Crofter, in alarm called out, "No, no! Don't shak 'im. Don't shak 'im! Loss weight! Loss weight!" The boys caught such a haul that the frozen fish were stacked up like cordwood in the home yard, some of them over two feet in length. I was old enough by then to be useful,. and my task was to pull a big frozen fish out of the pile, shave off the scales with the old draw-knife, then crack off the head and it was ready to thaw and clean. That winter we ate fish, boiled fish, baked fish, fried fish, hot and cold and to this day need I confess that fish is NOT a favorite food with me, unless someone else cleans and cooks it. As a slight side-light on the trials of pioneer mothers and fathers (perhaps especially the mothers) it may be remembered