Friday, April 20, 2012

In the Footsteps of L.M. Montgomery on Prince Edward Island

For those of you who have been anxiously anticipating more sewing projects, please rest assured that a whole host of them are forthcoming in the next few weeks!  We're very excited about them all and are looking forward to sharing them with you.  But in the meantime...

PEI lupines 2 1996
Beautiful fields of lupines splash brilliant colors across the Island's landscapes.

As I mentioned in the previous post, we visited Prince Edward Island three times in the 1990s, primarily because our entire family (even our dad!) adores Anne of Green Gables and we were all interested in seeing the place that inspired it.  Needless to say, after the first trip, we fell thoroughly in love with the Island and its people and it irresistibly drew us back a couple more times.  Lately, we've been discussing our mutual desire to return at some point in the future, and we brought out the old photo albums to reminisce and wallow in our very fond memories.  Here's a brief photo summary of some of the L.M. Montgomery historic sites we visited, interspersed with a couple of random Island views, to complement our previous post.  Enjoy!

This is the small house in New London (once called Clifton) where Lucy Maud was born on 30 November 1874.  The tiny upstairs bedroom interprets the event, with a cradle placed at the foot of the bed.  Also featured in this house museum are some of Maud's many and fascinating scrapbooks and her wedding ensemble.

LMM birthplace 1994

LMM birthplace bedroom 1994

When Maud's mother died a couple of years after the birth of her child, Hugh John Montgomery sent his baby daughter to live with her maternal grandparents, the Macneills, in Cavendish, on the north shore of PEI. Their homestead - the house where Anne of Green Gables was written - sadly no longer stands, but the foundation has been preserved and is open to the public.

Macneill homestead foundation 1994

Down a winding, tree-canopied path, across the road, and through "The Haunted Woods" (yes, these are the woods that inspired the ones in the book!)...

Haunted Woods 1994 Green Gables house, which was the home of Maud's grandfather's cousins, brother and sister David and Margaret Macneill.

Green Gables 1994

Parks Canada acquired the property in 1937 and restored it to its turn-of-the-century appearance. Each room has been staged to interpret an aspect of Anne's Green Gables, from the dining room...

Green Gables dining room 1994 Anne's room (note the "puffed sleeves" dress and the carpet bag!)...

Green Gables Annes room 1994 Marilla's practically plain bedroom, complete with amethyst broach on the dresser...

Green Gables Marilla room 1995 Matthew's room...

Green Gables Matthew room 1995

The house also contains some Montgomery artifacts, including the typewriter on which Maud prepared Anne of Green Gables for publication.

In 1897, Maud left the cozy Cavendish community that she loved and went to teach for a year in Lower Bedeque. The one-room schoolhouse in which she taught still stands and has been restored to its appearance during Maud's tenure there. The house where she boarded, which was just across the street, has unfortunately disappeared.

Lower Bedeque school 1996

Lower Bedeque school interior 1996

One of LMM's favorite places on the Island was the home of her Campbell cousins at Park Corner. The house has come to be known as "Silver Bush," after the novel it inspired.

Silver Bush 1994

Maud stayed here often in this upstairs bedroom...

Silver Bush LMM bedroom 1995

...and was married in the house's parlor, in front of the fireplace, in 1911.

Silver Bush parlor 1994

The house remains in the Campbell family (incredibly lovely people to chat with) and is full of family heirlooms, including the Crazy Quilt that Maud and her cousins made, which is a truly stunning piece of work.

Silver Bush 2 1994
A view of Silver Bush, complete with "the Lake of Shining Waters."

The manuscript of Anne of Green Gables is owned by the Confederation Centre of the Arts in Charlottetown and is frequently on display.  We were fortunate enough to catch it featured in two different LMM exhibits during our trips.

Anne of GG manuscript 1 1994

Anne of GG manuscript 2 1994

And of course, any pilgrimage in homage of LMM would not be complete without a visit to her final resting place in Cavendish, nearby the old Macneill property. Maud and her husband Ewan are buried together, right next to Maud's mother, Clara Macneill Montgomery, and her grandparents Alexander and Lucy Woolner Macneill.

LMM resting place 1994

Of course, there are many other gorgeous views to be seen around the Island, some Montgomery-related, like Dalvay by the Sea, which you might recognize as the "White Sands Hotel" of the TV Avonlea (and yes, it really is a hotel)...

Dalvay by the Sea 1994

...and some not-so-directly Montgomery related, but one can easily imagine them as views that the authoress herself could easily have seen and relished, like the picturesque West Point Lighthouse against the famous Island red sands (the lighthouse serves as a restaurant and inn, in addition to being a functional lighthouse, and was our absolute favorite place that we stayed)...

West Point lighthouse 1996

...and the typical, very lovely farms that define the landscape of this magical place.

PEI fields 1996


Issy said...

Oh I am so thoroughly jealous that you have been to P.E.I. It is on my list of dream holiday destinations, and it has been there for at least 10 years (ever since I was first introduced to AoGG).
Thank you for posting the photos, especially the ones of the interior of Green Gables. :) Hopefully one day I will make it there *dreamy sigh*. :)

Time Traveling in Costume said...

If only I could talk my husband into going but he's not the least bit interested in AoGG. Maybe someday there will be a "ladies group" that might want to tour up there.

Rebecca said...

Issy, I hope you get to go one day soon! In the meantime, though, I'm glad you enjoyed the pictures! :-)

Val, tell your husband there's a lot more to PEI than LMM/Anne, so I'm sure he could keep himself very well occupied while you indulge yourself with the "girly" things! Does he golf? If so, you've got your argument *very* easily ready-made...:-)