forward when the demand for still better roads from the motor travelling public caused the council to start on a system of good roads under the Good Roads Act of 1914 and built up to market road and highway specifications. This work was let by contract usu- ally to the lowest tender.

In 1931 it became apparent that the ratepayers could do our own contracting work and thereby keep the money spent on good roads within the municipality. Today there are 49 miles of grade roads most of which is gravelled and have been built during the past seven years. There are now 210 miles of road open for traffic in the municipality that are maintained regularly by the patrol system of maintenance.

In the fall of 1931, 2 miles of highway were built east of Oak River in three weeks. For a few days 178 horses and 75 men were working on the job. 11,000 cubic yards of earth were converted into a road in the short space of five days with this outfit.

The taxpayers of 50 years ago were called upon to contribute $3,797 to meet the current expenses of the municipality but only paid $2,300 or 61% of the levy. When taxes were at their peak in 1921 the sum of $72,000 was levied on the ratepayers. In ’84 and ’85 my father was unable to pay his taxes but in Feb. ’86 he turned into the sec.—treas. $9.60 and received a receipt in full for two years taxes and the penalty. In 1921 the taxes on this same quarter section amounted to $105.60. For 1934 the ratepayers were asked for $44,000 as compared with $50,000 the previous year.


During the late ’70’s the Canadian Pacific Railway Company ran a survey for its mainline from Winnipeg west which passed through this municipality on an angle the same as the present line with the exception that it was about 2 miles north. In anticipation of a rail- road, a townsite was surveyed in 1882 on the NE. quarter of 34, 13, 22, on the farm of the late Mr. John Hawthorne. A general store operated by Herb and Charles Marlatt was erected on See. 35 now farmed by K. C. McKenzie. On the NE. corner of the SE. Quarter of 34 there was a blacksmith shop and a hotel in which a blind pig reposed (story). This farm is now owned by Mr. John Day.

The anticipation of railway facilities no doubt was the cause of so many settlers pouring into this part of the country at such an early date but their hopes were shattered when the CPR. built their main line some twenty miles south, however, they were not downhearted, they had made their homes here and were determined to stay. It was not until the late ’80’s that the Manitoba and North Western Railway Company ran a survey through the municipality and Dec. 17, 1891 the first regular train steamed into Oak River.