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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From Darlingford they made the journey by foot to the land he, Peter, selected as his homestead, being the east half of section 34-3-20. James Rae took the west half of the same section. At this point it was necessary that they register their land, so they walked from their homestead to "Old Deloraine" and registered on October 29th, 1881.

Now the next problem became one of survival for the next few months so Peter walked to Brandon to find work. On arrival there he secured a job with the C.P.R. as carpenter and worked there for over a year. While Peter worked on this job his brother Duncan came west and spent his 19th birthday, March 3, 1882, aboard the train coming out to his new home. After Duncan arrived here he, too, secured work with the railroad.

Then in the fall of 1882 Peter left the railroad to come back and make preparations for the planting of their first crop the following spring, Duncan remaining with his job for the next few months.

The first few crops were not large in acres, and this is easily understood, for after the land was broken by a yoke of oxen, the seed had to be broadcast by hand out of a container carried by a strap around the neck and shoulders. When this crop was harvested their nearest market was Brandon and so the crop was delivered there by oxen.

In the following spring the boys' mother, Mrs. Robert Hender­ son, their sisters Margaret and Catherine, and their brother James came west and, as there was no railroad through here they came as far as Brandon by rail, arriving on the 30th of April, 1884. It was here that Duncan met them with a team and wagon and brought them back to a farm eight miles south of Brandon owned by a family named McCanlish, where Peter had taken work for the summer. They all stayed overnight here and left for the home­ stead the next day taking two days for the trip. This must have been a happy reunion for visitors were mighty scarce in those early times.

Moving a little more rapidly through the years now we come to 1888 when Peter Henderson married Belle Armstrong, who was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George Armstrong. Three sons were born of this marriage, Robert Alexander on April 23rd 1890, Peter Edwin Howard on Oct. 25th 1891 and William James born on October 15th 1894. In 1890 he built a new house of stone hauled from the stone quarry south of where Boissevain is now situated. However, this home was soon to be touched by sadness for in 1895 Peter's wife Belle, a bride of but seven short years, passed away.

During this time Duncan and Peter acquired one of the earliest threshing outfits of that time, a Cornell portable steam engine and a Wide awake separator. The separator was hand fed and it had a straw carrier from which the straw had to be bucked into piles.

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