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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bluffs that are seen on the prairie now and very little bush along the Souris River. As the country filled up with settlers the cutting and hauling of firewood from the Turtle Mountains became an important part in the country's development, and to a considerable degree stimulated winter activity and income in the wood camps and along the trail. It was at the site of that shack that father settled for good and many of his early recollections and incidents centered around the trail, which passed a few yards from the house.

In the late eighties, through the nineties and on until coal began to take the place of wood it was nothing uncommon to have thirty to forty teams pass with loads of wood on a winter's day. Father and mother never attempted to run a stopping house but some weary teamster was always looking for a meal for himself and team after the long trip across the marsh, or dumping part of his load in the yard and expecting father to see to it that some other wood hauler didn't steal it before he returned for it. Father did keep a casual eye on it but usually was busy enough watching his own hay and oats that he didn't have time to worry much about who owned the stacks of poles and cordwood that accumulated before the winter was over.

During the summers of eighty-three and eighty-four other homesteaders moved into the district, including Ace Macintosh, Ike Logan, the Perrot brothers and Joe McCutcheon, and though the shanties were still a long way apart the neighborhood began to form and some of the loneliness of the first winter was dispelled. Dave Duncan stayed on his homestead till poor health forced him to leave in 1887, at which time he went to the States to live. Joe McCutcheon homesteaded the quarter cornering 12-4-21 and became father's nearest neighbor. McCutcheon was famous, locally, for pre­ facing his remarks with various phrases; one of his favorites being "that is."

On August 1, 1884 the post office of Whitewater, the first in the district, was established at the first home of father and his brother with Dave Duncan as postmaster. I don't know, nor do available records, show, what the mail service was at that time. In all probability it would be once or twice a month and Brandon was likely the delivery point.

Dave Duncan operated the post office till 1887, when it was taken over by Joe McCutcheon and the name changed to Abigail, which was Mrs. McCutcheon's first name, and the name which the district was known by for many years. Charlie Hicks was Abigail's postmaster from 1891 to 1896, though the site was still at the Me­ Cutcheon home. Owing to ill health of his wife McCutcheon gave up the post office in 1896 at which time father took it over and was postmaster till the office was discontinued on December 16, 1920. At that time there was one mail day a week and Sinclair Brown was the mail carrier.