Allison's Book Bag

Lucy Maud Montgomery Sites in Prince Edward Island

Posted on: August 5, 2010

Oh, Miss Cuthbert, did you really say that perhaps you would let me stay at Green Gables?” she said, in a breathless whisper, as if speaking aloud might shatter the glorious possibility, “Did you really say it? Or did I only imagine that you did?”–Anne Shirley in Anne of Green Gables

Ever since first reading about Anne in my earliest childhood years, I have yearned to visit her island home. This summer, on our way to my home province of Newfoundland, my husband and I detoured to Prince Edward Island. I saw Green Gables and many other places which meant so much to Anne and to L.M. Montgomery herself. Montgomery and I are both island girls and storytellers, as well as individuals of moods and imagination. I wish I could have met her. Alas, we are generations apart, but her books and my trip to PEI will live forever in my heart.

Lucy Maud Montgomery Birthplace

  • L.M. Montgomery was born on November 30th, 1874 in New London, known as “Clifton” to her readers.
  • The home contains period furniture, along with samples of Montgomery’s poems, letters, and scrapbooks.
  • A replica of the author’s wedding dress is on exhibit, along with her wedding shoes and her honeymoon slippers.
  • A copy of the Island Hymn, written in 1908, is displayed on the organ. Montgomery was asked to compose the words for it by the island’s Women’s Institute. It became Prince Edward Island’s new anthem just this year.
  • At the top of the stairs, one can see into the bedroom where Montgomery was born.

Green Gables

The international acclaim of Montgomery’s novels turned her hometown of Cavendish (known to her readers as Avonlea) into a popular tourist destination in the early twentieth century and led to the establishment of Prince Edward Island National Park in the 1930s. The park’s boundaries encompass the Green Gables homestead, along with surroundings familiar to readers such as The Haunted Woods and Lover’s Lane.

The Green Gables farm was owned by the Macneill family, cousins of the author. The farm’s name is derived from the dark green paint of its gables. Although Montgomery never lived at Green Gables, she spent many happy childhood hours visiting it. The Anne series is based on Green Gables and Cavendish.

During her courtship to Ewan MacDonald, Montgomery began writing Anne of Green Gables. It would be rejected by four publishers and stuffed in a hatbox for two years, until she took it out in 1907, revised it, and sent it to L.C. Page of Boston. It was accepted with the stipulation that she write more Anne books. Her success initially earned her a mere royalty of 9 cents per copy!

Ingleside and Silver Bush

The town Park Corner was the inspiration for “Ingleside,” Anne and Gilbert’s home in the Anne books. The Campbell home itself is the setting for Pat of Silver Bush. The Lake of Shining Waters, also written about in the Anne series, lies just across the road from the house.

Montgomery’s Aunt Annie and Uncle John Campbell and their four children lived at Park Corner. Montgomery was close to the family; their home was always a second home to her. She visited frequently, even living with the Campbells for short periods. The house is now a museum.

After her marriage to Ewan MacDonald and their move to Ontario, Montgomery remained involved in the lives of the Campbells and contributed to the upkeep of the farm. She spend part of her vacations in PEI at their home.

Montgomery also married here. The organ and furnishings in the parlour, used during Montgomery’s wedding, are available to present-day couples who wish to their marriage to have a Montgomery connection.

Many family heirlooms are on display including some items that Montgomery wrote into her books and stories: the enchanted bookcase from the Anne books, the green-and-white spotted china dog “Magog” and the Rosebud Tea Set from the Emily books, the Fruit Basket and the The Blue Chest of Rachel Ward from “The Story Girl”.

Despite arriving shortly before closing time, I lingered in every room. With this tour over, so would be our jaunt into Montgomery’s world. I also dawdled over every store item. Suddenly, I wanted to purchase everything! With this whirlwind author tour over, so would be our jaunt back into Montgomery’s world. I felt reluctant to leave. I had waited all my life to visit Montgomery’s beloved island. I might see it only again next year or might have to wait a lifetime to return. Finally though, my husband and I drove off, headed towards yet more adventures.


4 Responses to "Lucy Maud Montgomery Sites in Prince Edward Island"

I live on PEI and I am in love with Lucy Maud Montgomery and the story of Anne of Green Gables, if you are like me PEI is the place of Lucy Maud and her story. Come check it out!

My husband and I have been to Prince Edward Island. Yes, any fan of the Anne stories needs to visit the island.

Great tribute!!! Prince Edward Island is on the list of places I’d like to visit before I die!!

If you can drive to Prince Edward Island for your visit, you should check out the entire eastern coast of Canada. It is such a beautiful and peaceful area. Of course, for a fan of Anne of Green Gables, Prince Edward Island is the star attraction. I’m glad you liked my tribute.

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Allison’s Book Bag is currently on hiatus. I will return after a much-needed rest with reviews of Advanced Reader Copies including: Freddy Frogcaster and the Flash Flood by Janice Dean, One Two by Igor Eliseev, Incredible Magic of Being by Kathyrn Erskine, Dragon Grammar Book by Diane Robinson, and Wide as the Wind by Edward Stanton.



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