Lucy Maud Montgomery (1874-1942), one of Canada’s most-loved authors, penned nearly three dozen novels and short stories in addition to poems, but she is best known for “Anne of Green Gables,” where we meet Anne Shirley, the feisty, charismatic redheaded orphan with the wildest of imaginations. Visit LMM’s beloved Prince Edward Island to see the places that inspired these cherished works, which continue to delight readers.
Anne of Green Gables Museum
Montgomery spent many happy days of her childhood at the Campbell homestead with her aunt and uncle, who built the house in 1872, and in 1911 she was married in the parlor. She recalled the imagery from her youth years later in her writing—the pond on the grounds, for instance, became The Lake of Shining Waters in “Anne of Green Gables.” The home remains in the Campbell family and includes personal items that belonged to Montgomery. You can absorb the pastoral scenery on a horse-drawn carriage ride through the property.
This site, which features gardens, shops and restaurants, includes the schoolhouse where Montgomery taught in 1896 and the 1872 church she attended; the two buildings were moved here from New London. Avonlea Village has more of a retail focus than a historical one, so just enjoy browsing the stores, especially the delightful Anne of Green Gables Store in the train station.
Bideford Parsonage Museum
This 1878 yellow Victorian house is now a museum showcasing the shipbuilding era and the ministers who have lived here, but for our purposes it is notable because it’s where Montgomery boarded August 1894-May1895 when she was teaching at the No. 6 Bideford School. Each room has stories to tell—for example, the living room was the site of many weddings. However, gazing out the window of LMM’s room is the real highlight.
Confederation Centre of the Arts
Along with an impressive collection of Canadian historical and cultural items, this AAA GEM® attraction houses the original “Anne of Green Gables” manuscript. It isn’t always on view, so check ahead of time to find out if the document will be there for your visit. The center also hosts the Charlottetown Festival each summer (mid-June to late September). The show lineup varies each year except for one staple, “Anne of Green Gables – The Musical,” which has been on each playbill since 1965!
Green Gables Heritage Place
LMM grew up a short distance from Green Gables Heritage Place, which is the former home of David and Margaret Macneill, cousins of Montgomery’s grandfather. The home’s furnishings reflect the late 1800s, and a brief film introduces you to the site. Of all the places in this article, Green Gables Heritage Place was perhaps the most influential in inspiring the setting of “Anne of Green Gables.” The farmstead’s Haunted Wood, Lovers Lane and Balsam Hollow Trail found their way into the novel. This AAA GEM attraction along with The Site of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Cavendish Home (see below) make up Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Cavendish National Historic Site.
Lucy Maud Montgomery Birthplace
This picturesque little white house with green accents and a white picket fence is where Montgomery was born Nov. 30, 1874, to Clara and Hugh Montgomery. Sadly, Clara died in 1876 from tuberculosis, so LMM didn’t live here long; she was raised by her maternal grandparents in Cavendish. Despite her brief residency, the home is still worth a visit. Peruse the scrapbooks detailing her time at Prince of Wales College as well as her professional life as a teacher and writer. A replica of her wedding dress is on display too.
The Site of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Cavendish Home
This beautiful property once contained Montgomery’s grandparents’ farmhouse, where she lived 1876-1911. The house and outbuildings no longer remain, but you don’t need them to see why the young LMM was captivated by her childhood home. Walk the grounds to enjoy the gardens, fields and lanes where she spent many happy years. Exhibits and signs with quotes from her journal adorn many of the areas. Knowing that this is where she wrote “Anne of Green Gables” as well as many of her other prized works will make your visit even more special.