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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But you never let him see your cheeks grow pale,

But I know that in His heaven God was watching all the while, You Mothers of the Great West Trail.

2nd Chorus: Mothers of the Great West Trail, Mothers of the Great West Trail,

The heritage we hold today is safe because of you,


Georgia May Cook (nee Wright)


From information compiled by Edwin Latimer, January, 1950

Boissevain received its name from a Dutch financier of that name, whose descendant was some years later to be the Dutch ambassador to Canada. At the time of the steel coming through in '85, the town was still known as Cherry Creek, however it was renamed Boissevain before the steel reached Napinka, not long after.

The first record of white men in this district dates back to approximately August 1870. Some buffalo hunters with Red River carts were going southwest from Fort Garry when they met a band of Sioux Indians camped on the bank of a creek near the present site of Boissevain. These Indians were some of those fleeing from the United States cavalry after the Minnesota massacre. At their belts, most of them had scalps, some with the long hair of women. The white men gave the Indians whiskey and made them drunk. There ensued a fight among themselves. When the fight was over, several Indians were dead. Since they considered the white men responsible for the fight (because the whiskey had made them drunk), they demanded that the white men bury the dead. These Indians were later rounded up by the Royal North West Mounted Police and were put in a reserve near Griswold, Manitoba, where their descendants still reside.

The next white men to come into the district were the sur­ veyors. In surveying the land, they placed a stage in a small mound on the corner of every section to show the section. township and range of each. When a homesteader had picked the land he wanted, he would take down the location of the land from the stage, then file this information at the nearest land office. At that time the nearest land office for this district was Old Deloraine, situated one half mile south and four miles west of the present Mountainside. Only the cemetery of "Old Deloraine" remains.

The first settlers in this district came to the Turtle Mountains in the 1880's. Some of these were Wm. H. Latimer, Peter Henderson and Jas. Rae, who came from Ontario by rail through the United States to Emerson, Manitoba. From there they drove with wagons