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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in Boissevain and was well known all over southern Manitoba, and Asbury selected quarters a mile farther north of the lake.

These first spring and summer months were spent in getting some of the virgin sod broken for crop, building a shack, making an occasional trip to Brandon for supplies and getting a stock of firewood from Turtle Mountain. I don't know what the crop from the first breaking yielded but it probably was frozen. Frost was the greatest hazard to wheat crops in those days and it was nothing unusual to make the long, arduous trip to Brandon with a load of the damaged grain and get thirty cents a bushel for it. Whatever the price or yield the first crop return wasn't enough to boost the finances of the four homesteaders very much. There were some other homesteaders moved into the district that summer but none in the immediate vicinity, so the partners moved in together in the Duncans' shack for the winter, both for company and to economize as much as possible.

Father liked to hunt and trap and that first winter, and the following ones for many years, trapped in and around the lake for mink, muskrats and foxes. Mink were quite plentiful and muskrat houses dotted the marshy east end of the lake in great numbers. Muskrat pelts brought around ten cents in Brandon and mink from one to two dollars. Red fox were plentiful everywhere. One winter in the early nineties father caught thirteen faxes at one set in twelve consecutive nights. This was accomplished by catching two in the one night. The first one was caught early in the evening. Father heard it and removed it and reset the traps. The next morn­ ing, and for eleven more mornings, he had another one. Fox pelts averaged around fifty cents apiece. Coyotes were fairly plentiful but he never had much success trapping them.

That winter of 1882-83 and the following one a band of thirteen antelope stayed around the east end of the lake. Father saw them many times though he never shot one. They disappeared in eighty­ four and so far as is known no one has seen an antelope in this section of the country since. There were no jumping deer in the country then, nor till many years later. There were some moose in the Turtle Mountains and also some bears. On one occasion two Indians came looking for a rifle. They had chased a moose out onto the lake and it was having trouble navigating on the ice. Father didn't have any rifle shells but he gave them a large marble which they loaded into his muzzle loading shotgun. They pursued the moose and shot it with that rather unusual load.

The summer of 1884 father built a shack and sad barn of his own on the northwest corner of his homestead. This was where the trail that the Indians used in going from the Griswold and Pipestone districts to the Mountain and North Dakota crossed and it later became the main wood trail for teams hauling wood to Elgin, Souris and as far north as Griswold. At that time there were none of the

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