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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had the first blacksmith shop, and Bob Tyler also had one, four miles west on 2-2-19.

In the summer of 1880 George Scott and Tom Sharpe obtained jobs with a coal prospecting company. A fifteen horse portable steam engine and drilling outfit were hauled to Estevan, in search of coal. It took a week to build a bridge across Wakopa Creek, to move this outfit over. On the return from the west, a shaft was sunk on 5-2-19, with a good quality coal discovered at a considerable depth.

In 1883 T. A. Sharpe, who homesteaded 26-1-19, commenced operating a creamery. George Scott freighted in the necessary machinery from Brandon. This enterprise lasted only a short time, as the owner's cattle had to be destroyed, due to T.B., without com pensa tion.

The first school erected in the Turtle Mountain and Souris Basin area was built at Wakopa in 1882, named Wakopa No. 308. In the previous year, the Coulter Bros. brought in a horse-powered threshing outfit. The acreage was not large, but crops were drawn for miles to a central point, to keep the moving of the outfit to a minimum. Most of the early crops were needed locally, for gristing, feed and seed.

In '80, Williams built a store, and took over the post-office duties. The company of Harrisons and Williams built a boarding­ house on the North side of the trail, and a large livery barn on the South side of the village. Several houses were built by '83. Thus the village had become a very busy centre.

It has been said that in one day, during the latter part of May iYl '82, one hundred and two settlers passed through Wakopa, on every mode of travel imaginable.

In 1880, Presbyterian services were held in LaRiviere's house, and later, when the school was opened, several denominations made use of this new location to hold services.

The village was a very active settlement for several years.

When, however, the grist and saw-mill ceased operation, like many other pioneer towns, building by building was taken down or moved away, until other than a few basements, the site once more became part of the original landscape. The waters of Long River, which were harnessed to power the rumbling grist mill and the whining blades of the saw-mill, now flow leisurely through the old dam site, and sparkle as they wend their way on down Wakopa Creek, and one to the Pembina River. White-tail deer browse on the deep rutted, grass covered trail, which was once its main street; and oc­ casionally the silence is broken by the whirr of what is left of the bushland and pin tail grouse.

And so, after a period of busy pioneer days, the happy memories of Old Wakopa lie beneath a mantle of forest green.

James Scott Desford

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