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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"And then there is Peter, our other big boss,

Who still maintains threshing is all a dead loss; He goes home every night about five or six miles,

And comes back the next morning all covered with smiles."

The old caboose rocked to this ditty more than once. Years later I hired a man who, on hearing my name, enquired if I was mentioned in the old threshing song. He had heard it in the lumber woods of Maine; so our world then, as now, was pretty small.

A Young Man's Ambi:l:ion

However, I must move on to more serious things, but before I do let me relate an experience which may prove valuable food for thought to the modern young man who can't decide between a six and an eight cylinder car. A man came to my place, one evening long ago, driving the almost unheard of luxury-a new top buggy. I stabled his horse, pushed the buggy into an empty shed and took him in to supper. After I had got him seated comfortably near the kitchen stove I took the lantern and slipped out to have another look at that buggy. As I stroked its glossy panels, I could feel the tears start, and I remarked aloud to myself: "Oh, will I ever be able to afford a buggy?"

A record of our first crops in Manitoba might be of interest. It

reads as follows:

l883-Nine acres frozen.

l884-Frozen, drew to Brandon, 20c per bushel. l885-Frozen, sold entire crop l8c per bushel. l886-Dried out.

l887-Very fair, but low in price, around 20c. l888-Frozen August 8. Never cut a sheaf. 1889-Dry. Very scant crop.

l890-Hailed 100 per cent. No insurance. l89l-Fair to good. Some frosted.

l892-Fair to good.

Our first bumper was in '95. Wheat averaged forty bushels pere acre and sold for from 35c to 40c per bushel. This crop gave us our first real start.

It must be borne in mind that modern methods of farming, coupled with modern machinery and earlier maturing wheat, would have turned many of our failures into partial successes at least. Brandon was our first market and meant a round trip of from 100 to 140 miles, depending on the trail we followed; and this, with produce selling often for less than 20c per bushel.

Nearly everyone drove oxen in those days, and one always had the comforting thought that as a last resort we could at.least eat the team. Speaking of oven reminds me of the experiences of my youngest brother, Jim, who came west in '84. Jim used to turn his oxen loose to graze during noon hour, and when hitching-up time