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The Geographic Board of Canada have this to say about it: (Quote) "C.P.R. station, 12-7-1 (1904); named after L. O. Genest, general storekeeper of the railway."

Up until 1904 settlers had to endure the hardship of bagging their grain. Mr. J. Trimble and A. E. Batters are credited with being instrumen tal in getting the loading pla tform there. Mr. Achison, C.P.R. manager in Winnipeg gave an understanding ear to the need of the district, when the two gentlemen interviewed him.

BELLE PLAIN

The name of the area is descriptive of the terrain. However, it was not only its beauty that was conducive to pioneers settling there, but the apparent fertility of the soil and the abundance of water as well.

The first settlers began arriving in the 18705. The only road in the area at that time was the Saskatchewan Trail which passed along the south side of West Prospect Church, followed a high ridge in a westerly direction, crossed a slough at the "round barn" (now owned by Bruces) and went on north-west towards Westbourne.

The advantages of good soil and lots of water do not necessarily mean a guarantee of good crops and freedom from worry, as the settlers were soon to learn. The seed that they had to broadcast by hand, cut with a scythe and thresh with a flail, combined with the asset of a few livestock merely meant survival at first.

Then came the grasshopper plague of 1873 and 1874, late blizzards in both 1881 and 1882, severe frosts in 1883, 1884 and 1885, and records show only two bumper crops in the early years -- 1887 and 1901.

A flood in 1902 (and there was another inĀ· 1921 t), inundated much of the district, forcing several families to take refuge on higher ground.

Going down through the years, the little district suffered more hardships. In 1918 or '19 there was a severe wind and snowstorm during which A. J. McKay lost one thousand sheep; a cyclone and hailstorm in 1922 resulted in a complete crop loss as well as broken windows and destroyed buildings; and in 1935 some wheat fields were burned 100% due to rust.

Despite these unbelievable hardships and disappointments, they gradually realized their ambitions.

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