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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home, he found his wife very ill with blood poisoning in her hand. As there was no doctor, she partially lost the use of her right hand. This greatly handicapped her for the rest of her life.

These people had come from a country where they did not have to bake their own bread or cakes as it was only a short way to the nearest bakeshop. Now, they were almost two hundred miles from supplies even at Emerson; their cooking utensils were few in num­ ber, hence the variety of their foods was limited. Only those who have experienced such times can fully appreciate the hardships and trials of those pioneer women.

At the beginning of October nearly everyone had to go to Emerson for winter supplies. After they reached Emerson that first October, the weather changed and it began to rain. They were delayed four days when the Red River rose so much that the ferry­ man refused to carry them back across the river. With provisions short at home when they left, they were even shorter when the men reached home again three weeks later. The men then had to go back to Nelsonville, north of Morden, for flour. With snow and low temperatures coming that year on October 23, the last trip proved disastrous, for one of Compstone's oxen had its foot frozen so that it had to be killed. Now he was left with one ox, a cow, and a calf.

That fall Mrs. Tom Fox of Wood Lake gave William, Jr., two tiny chickens. Living with the family that winter, they thrived and became respected members of the family. Although one chicken was accidentally crushed the next spring, the other was set on eleven eggs obtained from Mrs. Burgess. Some of these chickens helped other pioneers get a start in poultry.

Mrs. Cumpstone was midwife at the birth of Harry Miller, the first white child born in this settlement along the Turtle Mountains. He was born in James Burgess' house, November 16, 1880. The closest doctor was in Winnipeg 180 miles away. Mrs. Cumpstone never saw a woman and only two men outside of her family from December 1880 to March 1881. For Christmas the family had roast beef and potatoes which were only used for special occasions as they were scarce. That winter there was not too much snow but there were some bad storms and cold weather.

During the winter of 1880-81 William Cumpstone put his knowledge of the wheelwright trade to use in the construction of two "Red River" carts. These were genuine as not a particle of iron was used in their construction. Wooden pegs were used instead of bolts and nails. There were no tires, skeins, or boxings in them. They were made of oak from the Turtle Mountains. The Porritt brothers bought one cart while Mr. Cumpstone kept the other for himself. The carts travelled many miles. One of the first trips made in them was to Millford in the spring of 1881 to meet the parents of the Porritt brothers who had come up the Assini­ boine and Souris Rivers on a stern-wheel paddle steamer. The carts also travelled many miles hauling supplies for Nicol's store.

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