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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team of horses, on top of the capstan was a platform where a man with a long whip in his hand sat or stood all day long to keep the horses going in a circle; this set the tumbling rod in rapid motion and motivated the threshing machine.

Mr. Arthur Aitkens, machine expert, had taken me out. Ned and Dick Sankey were also there helping with the threshing.

Bob Hurt worked for Mr. Morton at the saw mill at Lake Max for a time and then decided to build a grist mill at Waubeesh, run by a water wheel. He imported stones and built the mill but though the building was completed I do not think the mill ever operated.

However it served as a ballroom for Bob's twenty-first birthday party in 1884. The weather had been fine and unusually mild for January, so he sent invitations far and wide to all his friends, and also imported special food and an orchestra from Brandon. The day dawned fine and mild, everybody came, men, women and children. On the invitation was a note to the effect "Bring your own oats and hay." Everything went well and everyone had a fine time. Unfor­ tunately around midnight the temperature began to fall fast, the wind rose to gale proportions, men began to get their families on the move. It turned out to be one of the worst storms ever experi­ enced in the district. Some people had to stay with friends for several days. So ended a birthday party in Turtle Mountain district in the year 1884.


When the first settlers arrived in the Turtle Mountain district it could quite truthfully be described as "Butler's Great Lone Land", the title of a book written about the Canadian northwest. It was still shown on the Canadian maps as part of the Northwest Terri­ tory. Manitoba, styled the 'Postage stamp' on the maps of those days, only reached as far as what is now known as Clearwater. The land was not sub-divided any further west until a couple of years later, and there were not even road allowances between White­ water and Mountainside.

The first settlers to arrive settled around La Riviere's Trading Post at Wakopa in 1879. They were mostly from Quebec and included the Youngs, Coulters, Weirs, T. A. Sharp, Phil Scott and others. The first to settle at the west end of the mountain were the Rentons, Uries, George Smith and George Ardmore, Jim, Dave and Harry Dougall and the two Flemings. Settlers between this point and Wakopa included Walter Millions, Henry Birbeck, Jim Burgess and J. Cassidy, with more Millions arriving later.

Log raising soon became the order of the day and good corner­ men were in great demand. The first shanty was raised on the farm of Jim Dougall, 30-2-21. It was built of oak, which was some­ what of a conundrum as it was replaced within a year by a house