House Crazy Sarah is soooo homesick for her homeland lately. Normally she wanders around in a homesick stupor but not being able to go back to Canada this summer due to Coronavirus has made her even more crazy homesick than usual.
There are few things more Canadian than good old Anne of Green Gables so House Crazy Sarah thought she would indulge in her homesickness by paying tribute to the 112-year-old book and featuring the humble farmhouse where the book was set.
House Crazy Sarah learned how to read from Anne of Green Gables – the story of a young orphaned girl who is adopted to a beautiful farmhouse on Canada’s enchanted Prince Edward Island. Here is the vintage cover of the book that House Crazy Sarah had as a girl:
Oh sweet memories!
When House Crazy Sarah was around nine years old, she and her family embarked on an epic road trip across Canada and when they reached Prince Edward Island, they were sure to visit the real-life house that inspired Lucy Maud Montgomery in her writing: Green Gables – as shown on this alternative cover below:
Green Gables is the given name of a Victorian era farmhouse in Cavendish, PEI. The home has become the most notable literary landmark in Canada.
The site – including the home and the surrounding farm fields and woodlands – is officially called the Green Gables Heritage Place. The house was designated a National Historic Site in 1985 and has long been used as an old house museum open to the Anne-adoring public.
Anne of Green Gables was first published in Canada in 1908 and eventually became wildly popular around the world.
Readers fell in love with the feisty red-headed heroine Anne, but also with her adopted home, Green Gables – so named for the forest green paint color of the home’s gables and trim set against the snow white paint of the wood clapboard siding.
Lucy Maud Montgomery modeled the fictional home after the farmhouse where she spent time as a child. And no, it wasn’t actually ever her own house.
The Green Gables farm was in fact owned by the MacNeill family, who were cousins of the author.
David MacNeill was the original owner who built the house in stages between 1831-1870.
As a child, Montgomery fell in love with the charming home and grounds and she drew her inspiration from the house as well as the surrounding areas, including: the “Haunted Woods”, “Lovers’ Lane”, and “Balsam Hollow.” These are all places that have been preserved and you can visit today.
The farmhouse exterior has remained largely intact over time, and the interior decor has been preserved to the late Victorian Period of rural Prince Edward Island life.
Guided and self-guided tours of the house are available – just as House Crazy took as a girl in the 1980’s. Various rooms in the house are named after scenes in the Anne of Green Gables story.
Let’s have a peek inside…
Above, the darling vintage kitchen.
Below, the formal dining room:
House Crazy Sarah vividly remembers being in this bedroom.
She remembers thinking “This is where Annie Green Gables slept!”
Yes she used to call the book Annie Green Gables and was probably a teenager by the time she realized the title was actually Anne OF Green Gables.
She was also probably a teenager when she realized that Anne was a fictional character and not her bosom buddy soul mate from another province and another life.
Years after House Crazy Sarah’s visit to Green Gables, an electrical fire in 1997 caused some internal damage to part of the upstairs section of the house.
This led to a restoration of the affected rooms, and also led to the redevelopment of the property through the construction of barns and outbuildings to complement the house itself and to accommodate visitor interpretation facilities.
This makes House Crazy Sarah want to revisit Green Gables more than ever!
Although Lucy Maud never actually lived in Green Gables and she even moved away from the Island at the age of 37, her wake was conducted at the home upon her death.
When Montgomery died in 1942, her body was brought back to PEI from Ontario and her wake was conducted in the living room of the Green Gables for several days prior to her funeral at the local Presbyterian church and burial in the nearby Cavendish Community Cemetery.
House Crazy Sarah is pining to visit this enchanted place again… someday. Who knows if she’ll ever get to the Island again, or even Canada at the rate we’re going!