L. M. Montgomery’s Cavendish Home

I’m still writing about the first day of my road trip to Prince Edward Island with two of my childhood friends. After exploring Green Gables Heritage Place, we walked through the Haunted Wood and explored Montgomery Park while following signs to the site of the MacNeill homestead, where Lucy Maud Montgomery lived with her grandparents, which she described in her journals, and where she did her apprenticeship, learning to be a writer by writing hundreds of short stories and her classics Anne of Green Gables and The Story Girl. Here’s a picture from the doorstep of the bookshop, which we enjoyed and purchased goodies from.

Even though Maud had to leave Prince Edward Island after her grandmother’s death and moved with her minister husband to Ontario, she set all of her books except one back on Prince Edward Island, the home of her heart. The cousin who inherited the property ended up tearing it down, so now visitors can walk around the grounds and imagine what it was like. In the bookshop we saw a model of the home.

The sign below reads, “This was the kitchen section of the house which contained the original post office. It was here that LMM served as the assistant Post Mistress to her grandmother and where Anne of Green Gables was born.”

Then we walked around the grounds.

No matter how much I read Maud’s journals and pictured the countryside described in Anne of Green Gables, I didn’t imagine this view.

I got excited when I saw many apple trees on the property, since in The Story Girl, the King homestead has an orchard where they plant an apple tree at each family member’s birth, and several of her other books mention apple trees.

There were many trees down on the property from the hurricane Dorian that had come through a few weeks before. There were trees down all over the island, and people had obviously been diligently working to clear them. Some squirrels posed on downed trees.

And Ruth posed on a downed tree, too. (We can’t go somewhere with Ruth without her climbing on something. This was true in 7th grade and is still true at 55!)

I liked the L. M. Montgomery quotations posted throughout the property along the path.

They excavated the cellar recently, and here it is:

There was an apple tree on the property more than 100 years old! Though pointing it out made me realize that most of the trees were not here when L. M. Montgomery was. This tree was there, though!

They have reproduced the “Old Lane” she talked about, where she’d first see her home around the bend.

And I told you apple trees were important to L. M. Montgomery!

Okay, this next sign was neat. On the side, it says, “Project Bookmark Canada places stories and poems in the exact Canadian locations where literary scenes are set. A Canadian innovation, it is the only national, site-specific literary exhibit in the world. This Bookmark is the first in Prince Edward Island. It was unveiled June 2018, in conjunction with the L. M. Montgomery Institute’s 13th biennial international conference at the University of Prince Edward Island.”

On the right is Maud’s poem, “The Gable Window,” at the exact location where her gable window would have been. I stood there and read the poem aloud, looking out on the view she would have seen (or something similar, anyway).

And turning slightly, here’s some picturesque detail.

We’d almost finished the loop path, but now walked past a garden.

To get back to Darlene’s car, we went back through the Haunted Wood, taking the other part of a loop.

The woods were so peaceful. I understand Green Gables gets crowded in the summer, so that might not be true then, but we enjoyed it!

On this side of the loop, we passed a stream.

I was excited by every bit of Fall Color. It hadn’t really begun in Virginia yet.

And then we were back at Green Gables! We were too late to shop in the gift shop there, which was probably just as well.

We had one more adventure that first day when we drove along the shore. That will be the next post….

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