June 21.—Rushing work in getting up the shanties. Four men felling trees and sawing their trunks into the desired length. Awkward in chopping, I took the job of squaring the logs with the adze-ax. Gordon notched the ends as I finished them. Digging his cellar Brodie struck clay, which Jabez tells me is worth money to us. Under Ailie’s direction, the children planted potatoes round the stumps of the trees as they were cut down, and made a garden on a bare strip of land on the pond bank. Have got all the boards drawn from Yonge-street. Slow-work with an ox-sled, having to dodge to avoid striking trees.
June 22.—Jabez helped Brodie to finish his cellar, lining it with red-cedar poles. Great heat. Oxen drawing logs for the shanty.
June 23.—Began raising today. Jabez, never at a loss in finding the easiest way, had left standing two trees at the site of the house. Placing a stout pole in their crotches, long enough to reach across from one to the other, he attached a pulley. An ox, hitched to the end of the pulley-rope, hauled the logs to the spot and pulled them up as needed. This saved much lifting and the walls went up quickly. Gordon had notched the ends of the logs so exactly that they went together without trouble.
June 24—Have got Brodie’s house up to the square and began putting up the rafters. Cloudy; heat more bearable.
June 25—Saturday; eager to get the shanty finished all hands turned to the work, got the shingling finished and the ground floor laid. Mrs Brodie moved in at dark. Though there was neither door nor windows in place, she said she was prouder of her shanty than the Duchess of Hamilton could be of her palace.
June 26—The heat of this country surpasses anything we ever knew in Scotland. All very tired and glad to rest in the shade, with a smudge to keep off the mosquitoes. Strange to say, the children do not seem to care much about the heat.
June 27—Jabez arrived with a wagon loaded with lumber. Drew on sled first the doors and sashes, which he had got a carpenter to make for Brodie’s house, which Gordon fitted in. Afternoon being wet, we helped to lay the loft floor and to chink the house from the inside. Gordon put up two wide shelves in the corners for beds, and is making a table with benches on each side to sit on. The table has crossed legs; the benches have no backs.
June 28—Everything being ready, began on my house.
June 29—Made good progress, for we have been gaining experience.
July 1—The roof being on, moved into our shanty; well we did, for it poured at night.
July 2—Had a long talk about chimneys for our houses. The right way is to have a mason build them. There may be stones on our land, but there are none in sight. Jabez says we will have to put up with stick chimneys. In the hot weather we are having, cooking out of doors is all right unless when it rains.