Other Sites and Stories
For L.M. Montgomery, place is of primary importance. It spoke to her “with a thousand voices, each with a new and fascinating tale to tell,” as Mary Rubio noted in The Gift of Wings (2008). Anne’s discovery of home and community in Avonlea is inspired, at least in part, by real places Montgomery knew and loved in Prince Edward Island, and her later novels borrowed other landscapes from the Island and beyond. Today many of these places, and a variety of other virtual spaces, continue to honour L.M. Montgomery’s life, writing, and legacy.
Prince Edward Island
Many places within Cavendish, P.E.I. pay tribute to or preserve Montgomery’s history, but there are other sites and stories across the Island, where Montgomery lived and loved, to discover.
Site of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Cavendish Home, Cavendish
While the physical house where Montgomery lived no longer stands, you can still visit the beautiful grounds she walked, see the stone foundation of the home, and see the kitchen where Anne was born. The Site of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Cavendish Home is a loving and peaceful tribute to what Montgomery called “hallowed ground.”
After reading in Montgomery’s journals how much the Macneill homestead had meant to her, owners Jennie and John Macneill decided to restore the site. From 1985–1988, the Macneills worked to dig out the original cellar and well and cleared the land around the old home’s foundation to prepare the ground for visitors. Since its designation as a National Heritage Site in 2004, several flower and tree species present in Montgomery’s time have been planted for visitors to admire, adding to the property’s authenticity. While walking through the grounds, keep an eye out for Jennie Macneill’s placards, which display lines from Montgomery’s journals.
Next to the kitchen is a small gift shop displaying artifacts from the Marco Polo (the fastest ship in the world when it was wrecked off Cavendish in Montgomery’s childhood), a model of the Macneill house Montgomery grew up in, and a large selection of Montgomery’s books for sale. With the purchase of any book at this location, you will receive a special stamp indicating your book’s origins at the Macneill Homestead, Montgomery’s longtime home.
Lucy Maud Montgomery Birthplace, Clifton (now New London)
Overlooking the New London Harbour, you will find the Lucy Maud Montgomery Birthplace. Although Montgomery did not live in the house for long, it was the first place to hear her cry and see her smile. Walking through this museum of Montgomery’s earliest years you can see the room where she was born in 1874, as well as her wedding shoes, a replica of her wedding gown, and period furniture that belonged to Montgomery’s relatives.
Rev. Dr. Francis W.P. Bolger, Chair of the Birthplace Trust for almost three decades, played a significant role in the preservation of the Lucy Maud Montgomery Birthplace, as well as many other historic places around P.E.I. Father Bolger is celebrated as a founding Montgomery scholar and was instrumental in establishing the L.M. Montgomery Institute at the University of Prince Edward Island.
Anne of Green Gables Museum / Campbell Farmhouse, Park Corner
Montgomery loved to visit her Campbell relatives at Park Corner. She records fondly in her journals how she and her cousins “sat around the fire, told ghost stories galore, and kept up a racket of jest and laughter all night.” Montgomery called Park Corner “the wonder castle of my childhood” in a November 16, 1924 letter to friend Ephraim Weber. Montgomery was married at the house in 1911, and the organ on which her wedding music was played is still in the house. Visitors can also see a "crazy" quilt handmade by Montgomery, the bookcase where Montgomery met her "Katie Maurice," which inspired Anne’s imaginary friend, and the mysterious blue wedding chest that inspired a tale in The Story Girl (1911).
Park Corner has come to have several names, including the "Campbell Farmhouse" and the "Anne of Green Gables Museum." It is also called the "Silver Bush Farmhouse" as it was the inspiration for the cherished home in Montgomery’s Pat of Silver Bush series (1933, 1935), and "The Story Girl House," in honour of Montgomery’s favourite tale, in which the story girl of the novel’s title narrates spellbinding adventures for her King cousins, just as Montgomery did for her cousins.
The house is situated near Campbell’s Pond, Montgomery’s model for the Lake of Shining Waters. Across the road lived Montgomery’s paternal grandfather, Senator Donald Montgomery, in the house that is an inspiration for Ingleside, Anne’s later home, and is now the Montgomery Inn at Ingleside.
Bideford Parsonage Museum, Ellerslie
Montgomery held her first teaching job at the Bideford school from July 1894 to June 1895 when she was 19 years old. While teaching in the Bideford school, Montgomery boarded with the Millar family and later the Esteys. The Estey manse, now the Bideford Parsonage Museum, was restored to its Victorian glory in 2000 and features the room Montgomery loved and many artifacts from the time Montgomery boarded there. The house is also where Mrs. Estey accidentally flavoured a layer cake with anodyne liniment, inspiring a similar incident in Anne of Green Gables.
When she arrived, few students attended because of the disastrous previous teacher; however, Montgomery’s growing reputation brought in many students, so eventually she had 60 pupils. The marking, teaching, and planning were arduous work, but the effort allowed her to save her teaching salary to further her education at Dalhousie College in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
L.M. Montgomery Lower Bedeque Schoolhouse Museum, Central Bedeque
L.M. Montgomery’s second teaching job was from 1896–1897 in a one-room schoolhouse in Lower Bedeque. Unlike the tremendous workload she faced in Bideford, Montgomery only taught 14 children in Bedeque. During her stay in Bedeque, Montgomery boarded with Cornelius Leard and his family. She developed a strong attraction to Herman Leard, which was especially complicated as she was still engaged to Edwin Simpson at the time.
The schoolhouse was renovated in the 1980s by a local heritage group and was moved next door to the Bedeque Area Historical Museum in June 2021. The schoolhouse is furnished with desks, chalk boards, and displays of dresses that "lady teachers" would have worn in Montgomery’s time.
The L.M. Montgomery Institute (LMMI) and the Robertson Library, University of Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown
The L.M. Montgomery Institute is housed in the Robertson Library and promotes research into, and informed celebration of, the life, works, culture, and influence of L.M. Montgomery. The LMMI hosts a biennial conference that brings together scholars and fans from around the world to share, celebrate, and learn about Montgomery. The LMMI and the Robertson Library also own an extensive archive of Montgomery-related material. The LMMI’s KindredSpaces.ca tool allows you to search a portion of this collection and find material Montgomery wrote, digitized book covers, and images of the original stories and poems she published in magazines. With the Robertson Library, the LMMI publishes the Journal of L.M. Montgomery Studies. The Journal publishes scholarly, creative, and other work on Montgomery’s life, writing, and legacy.
The LMMI offers several other ways to engage with Montgomery, including the MaudCast: The Podcast of the L.M. Montgomery Institute, a map of Montgomery’s P.E.I., a #foundlmmontgomery challenge on Instagram, and videos tackling questions like “Who is L.M. Montgomery?” (on UPEI’s YouTube channel).
The Leaskdale Manse National Historic Site, Leaskdale
Montgomery and her family lived and worked at the Leaskdale manse and church from 1911–1926. Now the Leaskdale Manse National Historic Site is owned and run by the Lucy Maud Montgomery Society of Ontario. The Manse has been restored to what it could have looked like in 1917, featuring decorations and replica artifacts like Montgomery’s two china dogs, Gog and Magog, who are also described in the later Anne books. Although a productive time in her career, World War I (WWI) consumed her time and influenced her writing at Leaskdale. In response to her experience of the war, Montgomery dedicated Rainbow Valley (1919) to three local soldiers. Her experiences in Leaskdale also inspired the creation of her WWI homefront novel, Rilla of Ingleside (1921).
Depending on the season, the Leaskdale Manse also offers events, plays, lectures, and even teas where food is served on Limoges "Bridal Rose" pattern china, the same pattern Montgomery had.
The Lucy Maud Montgomery Museum and Literary Centre, Norval (Halton Hills)
The Lucy Maud Montgomery Museum and Literary Centre is dedicated to celebrating the life, artistry, and impact of L.M. Montgomery. The Norval Manse was one of Montgomery’s favourite places to live: “I love Norval as I have never loved any place save Cavendish.” During her time in Norval, Montgomery was heavily involved in community life, joining women’s groups, hosting teas, and attending a series of community-led performances called the "Olde Tyme Nites."
The Heritage Foundation of Halton Hills is in the process of creating a work plan for the opening of a museum in the Manse. Today, one block from the Norval Manse is a park dedicated to Montgomery. The park was created by villagers to celebrate Montgomery and her love of gardens.
Bala’s Museum with Memories of Lucy Maud Montgomery, Muskoka
In 1922, Bala’s Roselawn Lodge, now the Bala Museum, was the tourist home where Montgomery and her family ate meals during a Muskoka vacation. While in Bala, Montgomery had a vivid daydream set in Muskoka that became the inspiration for her to write The Blue Castle (1926) (and interrupt her progress on the Emily series). The Blue Castle is Montgomery’s only novel that is set entirely outside of Prince Edward Island. The museum features early editions of Montgomery’s works, her silver tea set (on loan from UPEI’s LMMI), a puffed-sleeved dress, and the largest Green Gables dollhouse.
As a result of The Blue Castle’s success, the Bala Museum has become a heritage destination that welcomes tourists from around the world to the place that inspired Montgomery’s Muskoka-set novel. While on their honeymoon in P.E.I., Jack and Linda Hutton learned of the connection between Bala’s Roselawn Lodge and Montgomery. The trip inspired them to open the museum in Bala in 1992.
L.M. Montgomery Collection, University of Guelph, Guelph
The University of Guelph’s L.M. Montgomery Collection includes the author’s hand-written ledger journals, edited typescripts of those journals, four of her scrapbooks, her final note dated April 22, 1942, and hundreds of other papers, books, and objects related to or owned by Montgomery. In addition to her success as a writer, Montgomery was a dedicated photographer, and over one thousand of her images can be searched and viewed through Archival & Special Collection’s partnership with OurOntario.
In the past, the L.M. Montgomery Collection partnered with the LMMI to create an online exhibition (2002) and has supplied the LMMI and Confederation Centre of the Arts with the materials for several large in-person exhibits (1994,1996, 1999, 2008, and 2014) and this digital one.
The sites listed below are fantastic places to find more Montgomery experiences..
- The L.M. Montgomery Readathon, founded and run by Andrea McKenzie and Benjamin Lefebvre, inspires worldwide conversation about Montgomery’s works, one book at a time. In addition to discussion questions and videos, members and admins share an abundance of historical and textual information about each novel. Topics have included family life, fashion, food, technology, politics, war, book covers, and information about discrepancies between editions, recent reprints, and translations. Since its conception in March 2020, the Readathon Facebook group has grown to more than 800 members and is a welcoming place for all who are interested in Montgomery.
- The Inspiring World of L.M. Montgomery: A Literary Tour guides fans to some of the P.E.I. places that inspired Montgomery’s writing. The tour provides recommendations for various ways to visit these sites by yourself (one-day and multi-day tours), as well as contacts for guided experiences.
- And the 2020 Virtual Tour of L.M. Montgomery Sites on P.E.I., created by Carolyn Strom Collins and Bernadeta Milewski, features many of the places and spaces of Montgomery’s Island