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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FAIRFAX IN THE 19TH CENTURY-By JAS. B. KING

Crown School District was organized in 1883. A few years after wards, the people of this district petitioned for a post office and suggested that the post office be named "Crown." For obvious reasons the name Crown was not suitable, and the postal authority gave it the name of Fairfax. The office was situated on the north half of 24,.6-21, the home of the late Joseph Taylor, he being the first postmaster. The mail was brought from Souris once a week.

In 1898, the Northern Pacific Railway built a line westward from Belmont and a station was laid out on the J. H. Douglas farm. This station the railway people called "Fairfax." The Fairfax post office which was about seven miles from the station, was shortly afterwards moved to the station site. For a short period J. H. Douglas was postmaster. Hettle and Graves opened a general store at Fairfax and J. L. Hettie took over the postmastership, which he filled in a capable manner for about 20 years. The Northern Pacific lines in the Province of Manitoba were subsequently leased for a term of 99 years by the Manitoba Government and became part of the Canadian Northern which was later incorporated in our present Canadian National.

The spiritual needs of the early settlers were well looked after.

Perhaps the first to hold services was Randolph Sparrow, a local resident and an ardent disciple of the Plymouth Brethern, who held services intermittently in most of the local schools. In the eighties, church services were also held in the home of Robert Douglas, the Presbyterian minister from Souris supplying. In the nineties, church services were well organized, Presbyterian or Methodist services being held in the surrounding schools of Crown, Gilead, Plainville and St. Lukes, and Baptist service in at least two of them.

Practically the only outlet for grain the first few years of settle­ ment was Brandon, the flour mill at Souris taking only a limited supply. The building of the C.P.R. line through Boissevain in '85 gave an outlet to the South and the construction of the Brandon­ Souris line by the same company in 1889 gave a market to the Northwest.

For several years wood was the only fuel used. The banks of the Souris River gave a supply for a few years and then it had to be hauled from Turtle Mountain. In the late eighties, a number of farmers experimented with straw burners to heat their houses. There were a few inventions of straw burning stoves and straw burning attachments on the market at that time. Those that bought them for the most part used them but a short time, while a few used them an entire winter.

The close of the 19th century saw the present Fairfax with no school facilities, the nearest schools being Gilead, two miles west; St. Lukes, three and one-half miles northwest; and Plainville, four miles south.

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