|13. Pioneer Writing / Thomas Hope July
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.