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 179 or Next - Page 181

Pioneer

Days

'Fore the turning of the century, some twenty years ago, The East was bothered by a deen unrest;

The West had more to offer with it's acres and it's lore, They all were looking to that "Golden West".

Appealing to the young men, the 'trek' of which we hear, Had quickly gained momentum far and wide;

As many of the older folks suppressed a hidden fear, 'Twas like an endless surging of the tide.

God-fearing men, and dauntless, strong-hearted, sound of limb, They'd never fail to pass the acid-test;

Their destiny before them, - facing natures every whim, They heed the call, "Go West, Young Man, Go West".

They came from Little Britain, Huron County, Almonte too, From Pakenham and Glasgow so. they say;

And also some from Belleville, and some from near the Soo, They headed West, - they might get back some day.

Some headed west by Emerson, then up through Wakopa, The Turtle Hills, so bright in Summers' green;

They felt the sight before them was the best man ever saw, And said, "this should fulfill our fondest dream" .

. Then some came up by Brandon, it was then the end of steel, By oxen, horse and prairie-schooner too;

Some came with grist or saw-mill to help the common weal, Some didn't stop, -they headed right on thru'.

Some headed up near Wabeesh,and some to Morton Place, Those groaning ox-carts barely seemed to creep;

Each had in mind a vision of the place he would em brace, Some reached, and settled down at Cherry Creek.

No roads of black-top, concrete, or gravelled high-way grade, Or fence to guide the traveller on his way;

The only road the settler knew was what the buffalo made, Migrating north to make their summer stay.

The buffalo were all but gone, those herds that roamed the plain, 'Twas no surprise there's just the odd one here;

Those wond'rous sights will never light the human gaze again, St. Louis got nine million hides one year.

That wide expanse, that sea of grass, they had to break the land, They had to plow to have a hope of gain;

Their destiny still beckoned, they started in by hand, ­ With oxen they would raise that golden grain.

The switching, blowing oxen, and the creaking of the yoke, Those loamy furrows of this virgin land;

A grim determination, and a breast that's filled with hope, And the sod that turns beneath a guiding hand.

That slowly turning furrow, - 'bout an acre in a day, The arms that ache from straining at the plow;

-180-