One of Canada’s most famous and beloved authors – Lucy Maud Montgomery – was born in this humble cottage on Prince Edward Island.
Lucy Maud Montgomery is best known for writing Anne of Green Gables. The real-life Green Gables house on Prince Edward Island has become an iconic tourist attraction. But Green Gables is not the only home associated with Lucy Maud Montgomery that is open to the public.
Lesser known, but no less thrilling, is Lucy Maud’s birthplace house that is situated in the picturesque village of “Clifton”, New London, P.E.I.
This humble story-and-a-half cottage (circa 1850) was the home of Hugh John Montgomery and Clara Woolner Macneill Montgomery.
Lucy Maud, the daughter of Hugh and Clara, was born in this house on November 30th, 1874.
Lucy Maude lived here as an infant but then due to her mother’s illness and subsequent death from tuberculosis, she was taken when she was barely 2 years old to live with her maternal grandparents at the Macneill Homestead in Cavendish.
Historic photo of the Birthplace House:
Lucy Maude grew up in her grandparent’s home, then moved around as a young school teacher until her marriage to the Rev. Ewan Macdonald on July 5, 1911. Later they moved to southern Ontario for the Reverend’s work.
“The Birthplace house” as it is locally known, had been through a series of owners since the Montgomery’s lived here. It was last owned by K.C. Irving of Saint John, New Brunswick who generously deeded the small house back to the Province of Prince Edward Island in 1964 so that it could become a museum in tribute to P.E.I.’s most famous writer.
Today, guests can tour the quaint little white house that has been restored to how it would have looked when Lucy Maud was an infant.
Let’s have a look inside…
The humble home is decorated with authentic period pieces and features special exhibits including a replica of the writer’s wedding dress, personal scrapbooks containing copies of her many stories and poems, as well as mementos and letters from her personal life as a student at Prince of Wales College and her years as a writer and teacher.
Below are portraits of Lucy Maude (middle), her father, and her mother.
The kitchen is a time capsule of the Victorian era complete with a Franklin cook stove.
Many of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s books are on display in the home and can be purchased as well.
The Wedding Dress Replica:
The Birth Room:
Perhaps the most heartfelt part of the home is the very bedroom in which Lucy Maud was born.
The Other Bedrooms:
There are three small bedrooms in this modest house.
It has been incredibly well preserved and little has changed of its Victorian architectural features.
An ell wing was added in 1890, the windows were changed, and a concrete foundation was poured in 1965. Other than that, the home is in its original condition.
Another interesting fact: a store was once also located on the property – operated by Hugh John Montgomery – but was destroyed in a 1938 fire.
In 1965 the L.M. Montgomery Foundation Act was passed to provide for the operation and maintenance of the birthplace house. To this day, a volunteer group lovingly cares for the home.
What a delightful national treasure!