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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In the early days of the district the nearest Post Office was Emerson, the mail might be there for weeks before it was called for, or could be forwarded. As the settlement became more populous, it became the practice for anyone entering the district to pick up the mail and carry it to its destination. As Southern Manitoba became settled, Post Offices were established at Nelsonville and later at Crystal City, which became in turn the centre for distribu­ tion of the mail to the Turtle Mountain. The first Post Office in the area was at Wakopa, and later Post Offices were opened at various other points. With the extension of the Railway to Boissevain the district was linked to the outside world by telegraph, but it was not until the beginning of the century that a telephone service was set up in the district. This was inaugurated by the Bell Telephone Company in Boissevain, became part of a municipal undertaking and ultimately was taken over by the Manitoba Telephone System.

In marketing the products of the farm, the roads and railways are of major importance. In the early days of the settlement of the district, the roads were in poor condition, and there was difficulty in reaching the markets. Grain in those days was sacked, and the pioneers could tell of unloading the sacks, carrying them across a stream and loading them again on the other side. Prior to the construction of the railway to Boissevain, the nearest market was Brandon, and it took three days to make the round trip. With the coming of the railway and the construction of grain warehouses, and later elevators the problem of disposing of the grain was simplified.

The population of a district is one of the factors to be considered in economic progress. The figures revealed by the census returns for the whole district-Townships 1 to 6 in ranges 18 to 22-are of interest:

1901 6430
1906 7506
1911___ 7011
1916 7056
1921 6664


1931 7340
1936 6914
1941 64 78
1946 5882
195 L 5615

The returns for the Municipality of Morton show a similar decrease between 1931 and 1951. Such decrease can be accounted for in some measure by larger farms and by the introduction of labour saving machinery, which accounts for a reduction in the hired labour on farms.

1916 "Round up" on the Turtle Forest Reserve - Photo courtesy Mrs. Ina McKinney