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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Another time we had a terrible prairie fire which started from a straw pile. It went all the way to Killarney before it could be put out.

The blizzards were terrible in those days, lasting often three days. The men used to tie binder twine to the door knob of the house and take it to the barn so as to be sure to make it back to the house.

The first fair was held in the fall of 1882 at my father's, ending up with a dance in the evening. There were also picnics held at Ross' grove. We would go in the morning, spend all day visiting and having the usual sports.

Mrs. Agnes Johnson


Not being a pioneer myself, I have written some of the stories and doings of the people along the south side of the Souris River in the early days, as told by my father, and I am sure that the names and happenings which I will mention will be familiar to many readers.

My father and his brother Tom, who had been in Minnesota for three years, decided to come to Manitoba. Arriving in Emerson, they came west by Crystal City, then northeast of Rock and Pelican Lakes, coming out of Lang's Valley at Prospect Point. After spend­ ing several days hunting land, they returned to Milford at the mouth of the Souris River, where father made application, on May 10th, 1881, for the west half of 34-5-19, and Uncle Tom the west half of the same section. These were the first entries in township 5, range 19.

Father than took the boat down the Assiniboine River to Win­ nipeg and back to Minnesota, where he stayed until fall.

Uncle Tom had to take the applications to the land office at Old Deloraine, then walk back to Milford and on to Portage la Prairie, which was then the end of steel. There he bought a yoke of oxen, a wagon, plow, tent and provisions for the summer, returning to the homestead early in June where he broke sixteen acres that summer, put up hay for the oxen, and got out some logs for buildings. Early next spring they went to Johnny Wilson's, who lived on the Pem­ bina River near Crystal City, where they got fifty bushels of wheat, forty bushels of oats and ten bushels of barley, which cost about $50.00.

My father and uncle batched until 1886, when father went to his old home at Cumberland, Ontario, which is east of Ottawa, and returned with my mother as his bride.

Written by his daughter, Miss Margaret McKee