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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Shrewsberry-London road. After he lost heavily as a result of disease amongst the sheep and cattle, he decided to go to New Zea­ land to relatives. When he arrived at Liverpool, he met the Canadian Government immigration agent, who persuaded him to change his plans and join a party of emigrants ready to start for Canada.

In the party were Wm. Lovel, Mrs. Lovel, their son Charles, Fred and Herbert Porritt, and E. Tobias. The party, under the government guide Armstrong, left on the liner "Circassion" on May 6, 1880. The voyage to Point Levis, Quebec, took fourteen days. William Cumpstone was accompanied by his wife and four children, William, Jr., Emily, Sarah, Jane, and Edward, ranging in age from ten to two years. They travelled by train to Toronto and Colling­ wood where they made connection with a lake boat which carried them to Duluth. From Duluth, they reached Emerson via the "Soo Line." At Emerson they bought oxen, supplies, and covered wagons. Their only piece of machinery was a breaking plow. When all was ready, they struck west for the Turtle Mountains in Southwestern Manitoba along the Boundary Commission Trail.

It was spring with high water and bad roads without bridges on the river crossings. It took them two days to cross the Pembina River south of Manitou as the wagons had to be unloaded, the goods taken across the river on a scow, the oxen swum across, and the wagons reloaded. After three weeks of travel, the party reached Wakopa. From there they went on to 16-2-20 where they pitched their tents to stay while the men looked for suitable land. As the survey of the district was not nearly complete with only two town­ ships completely surveyed and only even-numbered sections open for homesteads, they had to scatter a little to get land. William Lovel chose 32-2-20; William Cumpstone, west half 34-2-20; Porritt Bros., 14-2-20, Tobias, east quarter 12-2-20. As there was no land agent nearer than Winnipeg, they simply squatted on the land they had selected. However, in August a land officer, Mr. Code, pitched a tent on 12-2-20 and took entry of their homesteads. They were able to break a few acres that year, 1880, but no grain or potatoes were planted.

William Cumpstone's house was raised on August 5, 1880. It was a one and a half story house, thatched with prairie grass and chinked with clay. The corners were saddled as no one, except Ontario men, knew how to dovetail corners. As there were no nails, all the timbers had to be bored with an auger and pinned with a wooden pin. Since there was no lumber, the middle partition was made of split logs .The first winter the oxen occupied one side of this partition with the family on the other side. They stretched the tent over the beams, laid poles on it for a floor, and adzed them level.

When William's family took erysipelas, he drove seventy miles east to buy a cow and calf which cost him $85.00. When he reached