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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the trails got cut axle deep in many places. In crossing the Souris River, the ruts were so deep we had to put three teams on each [oad to get down the hill, and six teams on each wagon to get up this side. There was a saying at that time that you couldn't drive oxen without swearing and I wasn't here long until I thought it

was right. .

The first trails were from one house to another but later when farmers broke up their land the trails were straightened out to the road allowance.

Prior to 1880 this country had all been surveyed and marked with stakes. The corner posts were about six inches square with the number of the section, township and range cut in the wood. A mound was raised around the post and a ditch 16 inches by 16 inches was dug around the mound. The centre stake was flat with a mound and a square hole dug at each side. These stakes have long ago decayed and the mounts removed by the farmers' plow and the ditches filled with drifting soil.

The trail from here to Brandon started east of Boissevain, .detoured around each slough, crossed the Souris River at Shepherd's ferry, then continued north until it reached Brandon. There were several stopping places on the road, one at Bob Campbell's about a mile southeast of Minto, Coolings across the river, and Bill Me­ Canlish's near Brandon.

There was not much wheat raised in those days as it cost too much to haul it to Brandon to sell for 45c a bushel. The first crop of wheat marketed in Boissevain in '86 was frozen black and sold for 18c. The next crop sold for 47c. The wheat in '88 was again frozen. The '89 crop was dried out. In 1890 we had a fine looking wheat crop almost ready to cut but on August 1st, a hail storm started six miles west of Deloraine and ended three miles east of Boisse­ vain. In a strip twelve miles wide, there was nothing left worth cutting. Every man who could get away went out to work where there as a crop. Eight of us with our teams left with Sandy Cameron's big steam outfit for Brandon. We threshed until the stooks were done, sent our teams home and threshed stacks until Christmas. This work netted us enough money to buy seed for the following year which proved a good one.

I recall many difficulties of drawing loads over poor roads in the early days. If a fellow came to a mud hole and got stuck he would carry his load over to the other side, make his team draw the wagon out and load up again and go on. The worst experience of this kind I ever had was when my brother Jim and I went about ten miles for a load of seed grain. By the time we got the grain cleaned and loaded it was getting dark. On our way home we had to cross an alkali ravine; part way across our wagon went down. The horses tried to get it out, but they too went down. After struggling for some time they lay down. We carried out the load to the other side, got