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.

Page Index of Beckoning Hills History Book

Previous - Page 160 or Next - Page 162

a strong-smelling pipe. He was interesting to listen to. They had purchased oxen and sleigh, plows, household equipment and a tent. They had brought their carpenter tools from Ontario.

They came to Brandon by C.P.R. train. They began the long journey with ox teams. Their goal was a settlement on the north slope of the Turtle Mountains, fifty miles over gleaming white snow. The snow in the glare of the sun was so hard on the eyes that some of them became snow blind. They had to put veils on the oxen to keep them from becoming blind also. Twenty-five miles south of Brandon they came to the Little Souris River. Here on the bank of the river was a dwelling house, the home of Mr. McCandlish; a place that in the years that followed became to them a familiar stopping place.

The land where my father settled was the northeast quarter of 35-2-20, on the south side of the first correction line, twelve miles north of the American boundary. It was clear prairie land. Off the south, with a gentle slope rose the Turtle Mountains, well covered with trees, and close enough to afford plenty of firewood for many years to come. There they pitched their tent, and built a tiny shanty. They scooped out a shallow well in a little runway for temporary use.

Nearly all the homestead land was already taken up in the settlement-all the even numbered sections. The odd numbered sections were government land. Those who settled on them had only a squatter's claim. It was three years before my father could buy the land he was living on. It think it was three dollars an acre he paid for it.

That first summer they built my father's house, a good-sized log house. It was boarded up inside and out giving it almost the appearance of a frame house, except that the outside boards ran up and down, and were of lumber about a foot wide. The front faced the north, having two windows and a door. The furniture my father made; a table, a cupboard, a large washstand and a reclining chair that he constructed from the tent poles when they had no further use for the tent. They also dug and stoned a well, quite close to the house, a well that has never yet run dry.

Robert's place, a quarter of 6-3-19, cornered my father's, or as nearly so as the jog in the correction line would allow; Uncle Jim's place was in the next section east of Robert's, 5-3-19.

The West must indeed have looked golden to the boys in those days, even though they had many hardships. The next year their father, mother and the rest of the family joined them on the prairie. They stayed in my father's home until they had a house built on grandfather's place, a quarter of section 14-3-20.

Beside the work done on the farm, my father spent a lot of time at his trade. Many homes were being built. But it was not all work. They were young, and they were happy. There were many others like them. I think the spirit of the times was very well