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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some hesitation they decided to try it. They were about half way across when they struck an alkali bed and down they went till the wagon box prevented them from going any deeper. For a few minutes despair reigned while they mentally pictured the work of carrying their equipment a quarter of a mile on foot. Then as luck would have it they noticed a large outfit passing north of them­ twenty-five farmers who, they learned later, had come from North Dakota and were on their way to a settlement farther west. Observ­ ing their plight the leader of the wagon-train came over and generously offered to pull the stalled wagon with its load through to higher ground. When sixteen yoke of oxen were hitched to it with chains from yoke to yoke those present witnessed a feat that was worth going a long way to see. In his own words Abe Code, one of the nephews later described this unusual sight: "For some dis­ tance our wagon was drawn through the ground without a wheel turning, sliding as it did on the bottom of the box, and only the oxen which had reached dry ground getting enough solid footing to enable them to assist in moving the load. Soon three or four yokes found firm footing, then the others, and it was a revelation to see their tails fly up over their backs and our wagon pulled to safety to the opposite bank.

Sixteen days after leaving Morris the party reached Deloraine.

Here the land agent advised them not to go on to Moose Jaw as a number of the settlers who went there had returned dissatisfied. Instead, he suggested that they look over sever~l sections which were then available some thirty miles northeast of Deloraine. The property had originally been taken up by a man named Morton, who planned to start a dairy farm. But the project apparently did not mature, for he had relinquished his claims. So Thomas Code" and those with him inspected this land and liked it and went back to Deloraine to file claims for a quarter-section each. My grand­ father and my father were given title to the south half of 10-5-21, which became the home-place, and the others took up adjoining homesteads.

In preparation for the coming of the rest of his family Thomas Code began the building of a sod house 20 feet by 24 feet. This in itself was quite an undertaking. Thick sods eighteen to twenty-four inches long were cut from the furrows and piled on top of one another-c-brickwise-c-to form the walls. Then a trip was made to Turtle Mountain twenty miles away, for poplar poles, which were laid side by side across the walls to form a roof and liberally covered with hay from the sloughs. In this house the family lived for nearly three years. It was satisfactory enough till the heavy spring rains made it quite unpleasant via the roof. Grandmother Code, however, calmly fastened an unused carpet to the ceiling. This caught the leakage and directed it to spots on the floor where she had placed pails-just another incident of pioneer life. Besides the sod house a