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13. Pioneer Writing / Thomas Hope July 26,1899

The Pioneers' Picnic which has been talked of so long is at length to become a fact. Tuesday next there will probably be a larger gathering of old settlers than has ever taken place in this section of the country before. And many will be the tales and reminiscences related by those present as memory travels backward to the early days when neighbours were scarce and the hearty welcome and helping hand were ever ready one for another.
In anticipation of the coming picnic it is with pleasure that we give here a brief sketch of one of the early settlers of the Melita District.

Mr. Thomas Hope came to Winnipeg in the month of July 1882 from Glengary, Ontario, where he had considerable experience in farming. He re¬mained in Winnipeg until the following spring when he struck out west in search of a suitable district in which to locate. After travelling through south¬western Manitoba and the territories as far west as the coal fields he came to the conclusion that he could not find a better district than that in the neighbour¬hood of Melita, consequently he determined to take up a homestead east of town. He only remained a short time however and went to Carberry for the winter, but returned in February 1884 and remained here most of the time since. In 1893 he spent one month in Ontario and 1895 left for his old home in the east taking his family with him, with the intention of remaining. This was in the latter part of November, but although he received a present of a good farm with excellent buildings on it and everything as com¬fortable as could be wished, he could not be tempted to remain and came back to Manitoba in the follow¬ing March, perfectly satisfied that this country is good enough for any man to live in.

Besides his homestead and preemption on the south half of 30-4-26, Mr. Hope bought last year another half section and now has 480 acres. On the homestead and preemption there are about 300 acres broken of which about 230 acres are in crop this year. Of this acreage there are about 140 acres in wheat and remaining 90 acres in oats and barley. On the last quarter purchased there are 90 acres under cultiva¬tion, with 60 acres of it in wheat. During the past ten years Mr. Hope has had very good average crops of wheat ranging from 1800 bushels to over 4000 bush¬els. One year the yield was 4400 bushels from 147.5 acres. Barley and oats do well. Last year on 17 acres he grew 375 bushels of barley.

While bringing his land under cultivation Mr. Hope has not neglected the improvement of his prop¬erty in other ways, has built good stables, and in 1896 erected a good stone house. He has also had excellent success in tree planting and now is rewarded in pos¬sessing a beautiful and comfortable prairie home.