In mid-September they arrived in Nova Scotia. They lived on the wealthy landowner’s large estate while Thomas taught the farm manager pertinent aspects of animal husbandry and the key to a successful farm. In mid-November, Thomas acquired a suitable parcel of land on the NW shore of Lake George, very isolated, and the family was taken by boat up this very large body of water to begin their new life. The land was heavily timbered and situated in a sheltered cove. A large island opposite the site was alive with the cries of gulls flying overhead. A temporary shelter had to be constructed at once. It would require a lot of time and effort to hew the timber and construct the log cabin that was to be their first home. Elizabeth, still suffering the effects of the treacherous voyage, was pale and gaunt. Now she had to endure this. To Thomas and the boys it was a great adventure. One evening while they were all huddled in the shelter before a roaring fire, she asked, “Thomas, when do you think the cabin will be finished? I am so cold and fatigued.” “It shouldn’t take too long, love, with the boys and me putting all our efforts into it.” After suffering endless cold nights in the crude shelter, the cabin was finally built, the windows to be installed later. It had a substantial fireplace carefully constructed with local stone physically carried up from the lakeshore nearby.
A meagre amount of provisions and supplies for the cabin were able to be brought in by boat before freeze-up, but they weren’t overburdened with them. The family had to depend on these to get them through the harsh winter. They had not been able to construct a barn or other outbuildings before the ravages of the upcoming winter. Life was becoming increasingly difficult. Elizabeth’s beautiful pink and white complexion had taken on an ashen colour now. She was still very weak and was not gaining much strength. Often she dreamed of her beautiful England with its rolling countryside, verdant fields dotted with bluebells and wildflowers, and sheep grazing peacefully amid winding stonewalls. This wilderness was in stark contrast to the landscape she knew. She did not complain, however, as she imagined her life would improve once spring came and she could plant her lilac tree and start some flower gardens. Later she would harvest fresh produce from their vegetable garden and orchards, amid birdsong and the cries of the gulls in the lake nearby.