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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Fox branch, is part of the pioneers' story of the Turtle Mountain district of Southwestern Manitoba.

PIONEER - MRS. JAMES DOUGALL 1882

On the 15th day of March in the year 1882, I left Ontario to make my home in Manitoba, arriving at Turtle Mountain on March 31st, at my new home, which was a small log house with a thatched roof. When it rained outside, it also rained in.

Several times during the trip we were delayed by the heavy snow. In those days the trains burned wood and many times we suffered from the cold when the supply ran low. Whenever we came to a pile of wood by the tracks the train would stop and the men aboard the passenger car would all go out and help restock the fuel supply. These stops also afforded an opportunity to wash with a handful of snow. There was no water on the train.

We arrived at 4 a.m. in Brandon, which was made up mostly of tents. We began the cross-country drive to Turtle Mountain, which took us over two days. The snow was four feet deep on the level. In those days there were no roads, with the exception of the Com­ mission Trail. I have driven through ravines in a lumber wagon when the water was high enough to come into the wagon box. Quite often we could hear for miles the Red River carts squeaking for the want of grease. These carts were made of wood, not a bit of iron about them, and were usually driven by the Metis.

Neighbors in those days were very sociable. There were four­ teen women in the Turtle Mountain district. Most of them came in the first summer I was there, 1882.

Brandon, which was sixty miles away, was our closest railroad.

In the year 1885 the C.P.R. built a line to Boissevain. One year later the line went through to Deloraine.

In 1885 the Metis Rebellion took place and our Indians became quite saucy. They would enter our homes, help themselves to what­ ever they wanted, and frighten the women. I have known them to take a ham of pork that was hanging on the wall of one of my neighbors 'houses. In fact, they kept my husband off the land almost a whole afternoon. Five of our Indians got into the house and I would not stay alone. It took both of us to handle them.

Crystal City was our post office for a time. Then the mail came across country from Brandon, and the next fall we had a small post office which was called Turtle Mountain City, with Mr. Trigont as our first postmaster.

In those days there was not much sickness and a good thing it was too; there was no doctor nearer than Brandon. Our first doctor, Dr. Thornton of Deloraine, came, I believe, in the year 1883. Rev. H. Patterson, now of Knox Church, Toronto, was our first minister.

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