The Anne of Green Gables series written by Lucy Maud Montgomery is without a doubt one of the dearest pieces of literature I have ever read in this world, and the novels will always hold the number one spot in my heart. In today’s post, we will discuss the Anne of Green Gables Museum that was created in the honor of L. M Montgomery.
The story begins in the small town of Avonlea in Canada on Prince Edward’s Island when a pair of siblings, Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert, accidentally find themselves the caretaker of a young girl named Anne (spelled with an E). They adopt her and welcome the child into their home at Green Gables. Readers get to follow her through primary school, high school, and into college through seven amazing books. Anne is an endearing young lady with a fiery spirit who is constantly getting into accidents and never-ending scrapes. The Cuthbert’s and Anne become a wonderful family. Readers get to watch as the girl and her little community in Avonlea prosper. It is never a dull moment in Anne’s little world. The red-headed orphan earns the love and respect of the islanders with her sweet, caring, and cheerful nature. The book held me captivated by an effortless flow of beautiful imagery, delicate humor, and a swift-paced narrative. Montgomery was a writer beyond her times who uses humor throughout her writing to illustrate a world that readers can return to time and time again. Never will there be a story such as the one of Anne.
“Isn’t it splendid to think of all the things there are to find out about? It just makes me feel glad to be alive–it’s such an interesting world. It wouldn’t be half so interesting if we know all about everything, would it? There’d be no scope for imagination then, would there? But am I talking too much? People are always telling me I do. Would you rather I didn’t talk? If you say so I’ll stop. I can STOP when I make up my mind to it, although it’s difficult.”
The Anne of Green Gables Museum was created by James Campbell and is located in Lucy Maud Montgomery’s family home, where her stories of Green Gables are heavily based off of the land she grew up loving during her family visits on Prince Edward Island. The Island is one of Canada’s eastern maritime provinces, off New Brunswick and Nova Scotia in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The large island is marked by red-sand beaches, lighthouses, and fertile farmland. Campbell’s dream was to dedicate the museum to his cousin Lucy Maud Montgomery. A women he fondly always referred to as his “Aunt Maud”. The home has been in the Campbell family for over two-hundred and forty years. First starting in 1776, when the Campbell’s first settle the property. The Anne of Green Gables house now turned Museum would later be built in 1872.
“I’ve just been imagining that it was really me you wanted after all and that I was to stay here for ever and ever. It was a great comfort while it lasted. But the worst of imagining things is that the time comes when you have to stop and that hurts.”
― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables
According to the museum website the family feel honored about keeping her memory and work alive. “The Campbell family home, that L. M. Montgomery called “the wonder castle of her childhood”, was built in 1872 by her Uncle John and Aunt Annie Campbell (her mother’s sister). The author dearly loved this home. She wrote in her journal “I have always liked its arrangement better than that of any other house I have ever known. I only wish I could have a house of my own like it and I would be satisfied.” The museum offers “old gladness, beauty, and the welcome that filled L. M. Montgomery’s heart when she visited her Campbell family here throughout the years until her death in 1942”.
The home is also the location where Lucy Maud Montgomery was married. She married a Presbyterian Minister named Ewen Macdonald. The couple moved to Ontario where he had taken the position of minister of St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church in present-day Uxbridge Township. Montgomery would have three children. Her children were Chester (1912–1963), Hugh (1914–1914), and Stuart (1915–1982). The Museum website boast that visitors can “Enter the parlour where L. M. Montgomery chose to be married in front of the fireplace in her beloved Aunt Annie Campbell’s home on July 5, 1911. The same organ and furnishings that were used at the time of L. M. Montgomery’s wedding are still in the parlour and can be used today when couples from around the world come to the Campbell family home to be married. See your own hazy reflection in the enchanted bookcase, and perhaps for a moment imagine it isn’t your reflection but an imaginary friend smiling back at you, like Anne would so often do in Anne of Green Gables. Throughout the house are many photographs that L. M. Montgomery not only took, but also developed by hand, allowing you to see the world through the eyes of the author loved around the world. Upstairs, you can visit the author’s “own little bedroom” she stayed in when she came to visit, a collection of her books she signed to her family (some with a little cat drawn by them, for she loved cats), and her crazy patchwork quilt”.
“I really think I’d like to be a minister’s wife when I grow up, Marilla. A minister mightn’t mind my red hair because he wouldn’t be thinking of such worldly things. But then of course one would have to be naturally good and I’ll never be that, so I suppose there’s no use in thinking about it. Some people are naturally good, you know, and others are not. I’m one of the others. Mrs. Lynde says I’m full of original sin. No matter how hard I try to be good I can never make such a success of it as those who are naturally good. It’s a good deal like geometry, I expect. But don’t you think the trying so hard ought to count for something?”
― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables
The Anne of Green Gables Museum is very high on my list of must visits and see before I die. There is a lot to learn about Lucy Maud Montgomery and her creation of a compelling and heartwarming story. The characters and inhabitants of Prince Edward Island will always hold a special place in my heart for Montgomery. The museum offers a special ride called “Mathews Carriage Ride” where visitors are taken by carriage through gardens, the lake of shining waters, and through the country. The website stats the passengers are given “Your own private, guided ride that will travel through beautiful flower gardens around the property as well as by the Lake of Shining Waters. Your ride will continue on down a private country lane and stop at a private beach where you may take pictures or go for a quiet stroll along the beautiful, white sands and see the scenic landscape that inspired the famous author L. M. Montgomery (best known for her Anne books). Truly an “Island Memory” to take home with you.”
“He NEVER visits; if he’d run out of turnip seed he wouldn’t dress up and take the buggy to go for more; he wasn’t driving fast enough to be going for a doctor. Yet something must have happened since last night to start him off. I’m clean puzzled, that’s what, and I won’t know a minute’s peace of mind or conscience until I know what has taken Matthew Cuthbert out of Avonlea today.” Accordingly after tea Mrs. Rachel set out; she had not far to go; the big, rambling, orchard-embowered house where the Cuthberts lived was a scant quarter of a mile up the road from Lynde’s Hollow. To be sure, the long lane made it a good deal further. Matthew Cuthbert’s father, as shy and silent as his son after him, had got as far away as he possibly could from his fellow men without actually retreating into the woods when he founded his homestead. Green Gables was built at the furthest edge of his cleared land and there it was to this day, barely visible from the main road along which all the other Avonlea houses were so sociably situated. Mrs. Rachel Lynde did not call living in such a place LIVING at all. “It’s just STAYING, that’s what,” she said as she stepped along the deep-rutted, grassy lane”
― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables
If you would like to read the series, you can find many free eBook copies on the public domain through the Gutenberg project website and there are numerous free audiobook copies available under the public domain site called Librivox. Please note that all photos should be credited to The Anne Of Green Gables Museum. Thank you very much!
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