View this video with a transcript: The Aberdeens arrive at Guisachan Farm (closed captions available in EN and FR)
The Aberdeens’ excitement grew as they followed Coutts through the gate leading to their new farm. The new road cut through the tall trees of the woods guiding the family towards their new home. As they walked through the trees, the house with the hills behind, became visible.
“Emerging, we see our house a quarter of a mile away, standing against a background of purple hills and commanding a charming view, with a peep of the lake from the verandah.”
It soon became apparent that the family was not expected. Coutts knocked on the door, which was opened by Mr. Eustace Smith, Coutts’ assistant manager. Smith, suspicious of people arriving so late at night, had his gun ready in case of trouble. Once he realized who the new arrivals were, the family was welcomed into their new house. Lady Aberdeen remarked in her journal that it would have been fun to pretend that they were there to “storm the citadel.”
“We could not have had a nicer arrival and our moonlight walk was a much nicer introduction than everything all in readiness.”
The household was soon awakened to welcome the Aberdeens. The family was taken on a tour of the house while food was being prepared by Foo, the Chinese cook. The Aberdeens admired the house and its decoration.
“The hall is specially pretty with a sort of gold Japanese paper and arranged with stag horns found lying here… a large sitting-room and dining-room, four good bedrooms, two small ones, and office and the kitchen just across a verandah running right round the house.”
It was a house fit for the Lord and Lady! “It is just perfect and everything is delightful.”