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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over the old Commission Trail with a small party seeking the same destination. They forded streams and traversed marsh lands and many times had to divest themselves of their clothes, wring them out and dry them in the sun as they travelled. At all times they were on the lookout for Indians, and the sight of a man emerging from the bush with a gun on what is now Asa Blanchard's farm, was a startling experience for the travellers. He turned out to be James Ayre, well known to all the early settlers, who gave them instructions as to the land available for homesteads-the best land .the Lord ever laid out for man. He directed them to William Shannon's on 34-2-19, where they found him in the course of erect­ ing a log house for his wife and small family, who were living in a tent pitched inside the log walls. Joe spent the next day looking over available land and hunting for corner posts and finally decided to locate on 36-2-19. As far as the eye could see there were no build­ ings to break the monotonous stretch of prairie. but there were many intending settlers looking for suitable land. Among these was the late William Hewitt, who settled on the east half of said section. The next evening they hitched up the pony and started for Deloraine to make their entries and arrived there on the following morning, and were among the first to line up and await the opening of the doors of the office.

With homestead duties performed, Joe went back to Emerson and thence to Winnipeg, where he worked as a carpenter for some time. While there he made the acquaintance of an Irish family­ Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Boyle and their daughter Eliza Jane, whom he afterwards married. At that time Winnipeg seemed to offer no hope of being anything other than a small town and Selkirk and Portage la Prairie were looked upon as the coming cities. Moving to Portage, which was enjoying a boom, he entered the real estate business with his cousin A. G. Washington and on the crest of the boom, he married and in the spring of 1881 took a honeymoon trip to Ontario. While in the East the boom broke, and he returned to find that his contracts for lots and houses in Portage were worth­ less, and the land in the Turtle Mountain district was his only asset.

Leaving Mrs. Washington in the city he returned with Geo. C.

Currie, who settled on 3-3-19, and together they bought a pair of oxen, a wagon, a plow and a tent, and in June of 1881 were back on their lands. In that year they built a small house, broke about ten acres on each place, and in the winter drew logs from the Mountain to build stables. The first seeding was done in 1882. It was done by hand and harrowed in with the oxen. The few loads of grain were drawn to Brandon by ox team, sold for 35c and 40c per bushel, and the round trip took about a week. These trips were generally made by a group of farmers together.

For the first few years Old Wakopa was the trading centre for the district and the trading post was in the hands of a Frenchman named LaRiviere. The settlement consisted of a boarding house, gen-