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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razed all business places on South Railway between Stephen and Cook streets.

In the expanding business of the town and district, the local railway station held an important place. Among the many com­ modities billed in and out, the first agent, Tommy Kellet, in 1886 directed the loading of several cars of buffalo bones. The Indians made a thorough job of picking up the buffalo bones which had lain for years on the prairies.

By 1887, another community had grown until it justified the building of a school-Royal School, built by Ed. Lambert. When the school was opened the following pupils were enrolled: Polly Burns, Hattie, Georgie, Cyrus and James Wright, Jennie, Ralph, Harry and Grace Thompson and John N elin. The first teacher was Jud Cook whose salary was forty dollars per month.

Progress in pioneering was often retarded as in 1888, when an early frost damaged much grain so badly that it was not worth harvesting. 1889 was a very dry year and gophers were so plentiful that they ate many fields bare. Hail storms took their toll and in 1890 two devastating storms struck. The first storm destroyed the crops for seven miles north of the railway and extended east and west for a long distance. The second one was south of the railway and covered an area five miles wide and about thirty miles long. Both storms completely destroyed the crops.

Prairie fires, too, were a serious threat, especially in the autumn. One never knew from what direction a fire might come. With a high wind a prairie fire would travel as fast as a good horse could run. I well remember such a fire in 1895, when Mr. P. S. Clarke who farmed two miles north of Boissevain lost fourteen stacks of wheat. That same year another fire burned thirty-eight stacks at the Holbrook farm on 3-5-20.

With 1889 came another church to Boissevain. During the winter Rev. C. Wood, an Anglican minister, arrived. He had rooms over Gilles' grocery store and he held service in his living room until the store was burned in the big fire. The church wardens then rented the top room of the Masonic Hall and services were con­ ducted there until the church was completed. Two of those church wardens were Mr. Thomas Barker and my father, John Nelin. All Saints' Church was built in the spring of 1889. In the meantime Rev. Wood held confirmation classes in town and in the country. On May 26, 1889, Archbishop McRae came from Winnipeg to dedi­ cate the church and to confirm a class of nearly twenty. About this time, too, Mr. Caleb Ryan donated land for a church in the town of Boissevain. The farmer church members hauled the stones from Shorey's quarry to build the present St. Matthew's Church which was opened in 1890.

I must here close my reminiscense lest I take up more than my share of the Anniversary Book.

J. H. Nelin

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