Elva was born and raised in Carroll's Crossing on the Miramichi River above Doaktown. Her maiden name was Elva Lyons and she was raised by her maternal grandparents. Her grandfather, Howard Lyons, was said to be able to pole his canoe to Doaktown and back in one day and still have time to visit some folks and have a cup of tea. Being raised on a working farm, there was always lots of chores to do and Elva developed a strong work ethic during her formative years.
Along with doing chores around the farm. Elva also cooked at some of the sporting camps and her skills in the kitchen were well known in the area. She was raised in a family that was active in the sporting world and many of the men in the family were employed as guides. Elva liked to go hunting and fishing whenever she got the chance and enjoyed some success in her earlier years fishing salmon and trout and potting the odd grouse. The next photo shows Elva with some nice fish.