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Page Index of A History of Portage la Praire
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Another picture that sticks in my memory is of the West end of Portage, thickly dotted with tents colored white and brown or black according to age, and innumerable Red River carts drawn to one side with shafts as heels kicked high in the air, and nearby the Indian ponies tethered.
Then there was the Hudson Bay store, the "Eaton's" of a new country where dark brown sugar was 25 cents a pound, the purchaser supplying his own container. As business men, I remember the names McDugal & Hargrave, Ferguson Bros., and McQuarrie. Another name is Ross, the blacksmith, and the unforgettable keg of hazel nuts and the little hammers to which we children had right-of-way.
One of our first homes was the Wallace farm, and from there we went to the only school - on the Island - a log building presided over by Andrew Smith. To reach the school we must cross the water now known as Crescent Lake, then called "the Slough", to distinguish it from the many other sloughs we knew of. Our conveyance across the water was a dugout canoe - the paddler kneeling in the centre on a bundle of reeds.
Though few would now answer to the roll call of that school, memory holds such names as: McLean, Garrioch, Mawhinney, Carragal, Curtis, Cummings, and others as Joe, Billy and Julia McKay, the last named figuring in my first love affair. (I believe Joe McKay fired the first shot in the 1883 Rebellion)."
The gentleman who wrote the above narrative served as a reeve and was a prominent citizen of the Rural Municipality of Portage la Prairie.
TRANSPORTATION IN PIONEER DAYS
Mr. James Eadie who was born in Brantford, Ontario in 1863 came to Manitoba in 1880 and homesteaded until 1883 when he gave it up to become a contractor, plasterer and bricklayer. This work absorbed his time in Portage la Prairie for ten years. After that he ran an agricultural implement business here for 12 years. He appears to have had a very interesting life due to his varied experiences. Added to the above men tioned were: License Commissioner for the govern ment of Manitoba, and Justice of the Peace at Portage la Prairie. After leaving here he was in real estate and a notary public and