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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area must adhere to a strict conservation program to maintain soil fertility.

From the early 1880's to the present day, agricultural develop­ ment has made great advances. From the yoke of oxen we have advanced to the horse; the steam engine; the gas powered engine; to the diesel engine. What lies to the future no one knows. The land is something we must hold in trust, for not only does the present generation depend for its support on the soils and the natural resources of the land, but coming generations must be sustained from the same source. Each land owner (by actions, not by words) must answer the question "Is the fertility of the soils to be exploited by 'wasters' Or conserved by 'good husbandmen'?"


Until recently when oil was discovered in the Whitewater area and later north of the lake in what is known as the Regent field, our wealth of known minerals was very limited. South of Boissevain in the Cherry Creek area sandstone was quarried for many years from the ancient bed of a range of hills which were pushed back during the last glaciation. Several local buildings still testify to its beauty and durability. Coal was discovered on both the eastern and western slopes of the mountain. Mines were operated in the Good­ lands area during the "Dusty Thirties" with a good quality of soft­ coal being mined. Hard coal has been located through oil and deep­ wat» well drilling in several districts, but in most cases the seams are beyond the hundred foot mark. Good quality brick clay is known to exist in the Whitewater and Ninga districts, while some porcelain clay deposits are located north of the Turtle Mountains, the quantity and quality have not as yet been determined.


In the periods of drought that our area has experienced in recorded time possibly the most devastating was the one known as the "Dusty Thirties." In many areas where the soils were of lighter nature, much of the top soil was lost; heavier soil districts suffered also but to a lesser degree. It had taken nature some 15,000 years to accumulate the rich loam the pioneers first turned with the walking plow. In dust clouds that darkened the sun for several days on end, much of this priceless soil blew off our plains area. In 1934 many lakes and stream in the Turtle Mountains dried up and the lakebed of Whitewater Lake became part of the baked plains sur­ rounding the region and was referred to at that time as part of the Great Plains Desert, where practically nothing grew. According to Indian legend this lake had been dry for a time during the early fur trade period. The buffalo ate the grass so short that high winds lifted dust clouds off the plains. In the late eighties the lake was reduced to a few shallow sloughs exposing a trail that ran north-