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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After thirteen years on a stony bush farm, Mr. Harris and family decided to move to Manitoba. In 1896, the family, with six children, Marjorie, Sadie, Millie, Gertrude and twin boys, John and James, arrived at Boissevain and rented a farm near where Wakopa School now stands - about twelve miles northwest of Boissevain.

That winter Mr. Harris built a log shanty and barn in the Turtle Mountains and cut wood for the settlers, who hauled it as far as Elgin and Souris.

Mrs. Harris, in addition to her duties of caring for her family, baked and sold bread and pies to the men cutting wood nearby. On one occasion, Mr. Harris and daughter Marjorie became lost in a storm while returning from Boissevain to their home in the bush. Marjorie remained in the cutter till morning, while her father unhitched the Indian pony and drove it round and round to keep it from freezing. With the moderating weather at dawn, they were able to get their bearings and proceed to the home of Wm. King where they were able to get warm and have some breakfast. This farm was south of where Bluevale School now is.

In contrast to the severity of the winters, was the heat and myriads of mosquitoes in summer. "Travellers" usually carried a small kettle with a fire well smothered with green grass to provide smoke. During 1897 H. A. Harris worked as a stone mason in the Bidford district building the stone walls for cellars, and founda­ tions of several new homes.

Having lost his buildings by fire at Lake Max, Mr. Harris rebuilt them, but was unable to make use of them due to an attack of typhoid. All of the family went down with the disease except Mrs. Harris, some of them being very ill. Mrs. Harris cared for the entire family till their recovery.

In 1898 the family moved to N.W. 18-4-20, where Primrose School now stands. Here they provided a stopping place for team­ sters who were drawing wood to Elgin and Souris. The next year they moved to the N.W. 5-4-20, where they purchased land and built a house-owning for the first time a farm that wasn't covered with timber and stones.

With the advance of years, Mr. and Mrs. Harris decided to move to Boissevain in 1922, leaving the sons on the farm. Eight years later Gertrude and Mrs. Harris passed on, Mr. Harris con­ tinued to live in Boissevain till his passing in 1943 at the age of 85.


Mr. and Mrs. John Huggard Thompson, of Irish descent, and he a direct descendant of the French Huguenots, arrived in the Boissevain district by horses and wagon just after the C.P.R. reached there. Mr. and Mrs. Thompson and their six children, along