Visiting Lucy Maud Montgomery's Birthplace on Prince Edward Island

Updated on February 16, 2018
Athlyn Green profile image

Athlyn Green makes her home minutes away from the Bay of Fundy. She enjoys the huge tides, rugged coastlines, and stunning vistas.

Historic Birthplace of World-Renowned Author

Birthplace of Anne Author
Birthplace of Anne Author | Source

For few things am I more thankful than for the fact that I was born and bred beside that blue Saint Lawrence Gulf.

— L. M. Montgomery

Where It All Began

Once upon a time, a little girl was born in a tiny, rustic house tucked away in a quiet corner of the world on Prince Edward Island, Canada. While the child's family was not rich in material goods, she discovered a richness beyond compare in her island home. She found beauty in the sparkling waters nearby, in the russet-hued dirt roads, in the gently rolling hills and fields, and the many forested paths, all bordered with velvety sand stretching for miles. From humble beginnings, that island child would go on to become a world-famous author who would attract millions of visitors to the house where she was born and to her beloved island. Her descriptions of her island were so vivid and intriguing, in fact, that readers fell in love with the island before ever seeing it.

And what better place to start than where it all began.

The birthplace of L. M. Montgomery is situated in the picturesque village of New London, a fishing and farming community in Queen's County, PEI, Canada. The house is located halfway between Kensington and Cavendish and is not too far away from Green Gables.

Lovers of nostalgia will feel right at home because a visit to Montgomery's birthplace home is truly like stepping back in time. This historic property gives visitors an up-close-and-personal glimpse into the life and times of the author of the Anne books.

Lucy Maud was born in an upstairs bedroom of this quaint house on November 30th, 1874. Her mother's death a short time later and her father's move out West, necessitated Lucy Maud staying in Cavendish with her maternal grandparents, the Macneills. This would change the course of history. As most fans know, her growing up years were spent on the Island, which left an indelible mark on Montgomery's soul, one that was to play out in her writings and put Prince Edward Island on the map.

Many years later, the author commented on this decision: The incidents and environment of my childhood... had a marked influence on my literary gift... Were it not for those Cavendish years, I do not think that Anne of Green Gables would ever have been written." Spirit of Place Lucy Maud Montgomery and Prince Edward Island

Her descriptions and almost magical portrayal of special island places and her deep love for them captured the imaginations of readers the world over, who also fell in love, so much so that they crossed continents and oceans to travel to the Land of Anne, to seek out and discover the nooks and crannies that so inspired the author.

While the Anne books would have been entertaining stories on their own, the natural settings, so interwoven throughout the books, have added their own peculiar charm.

Rooms as They Were When Lucy Author was Born

The Montgomery birthplace home has been remarkably preserved, with the original flooring intact and the rooms as they were when the author was an infant.

Rustic Charm in Bedroom Where Lucy Maud Was Born

At the top of a staircase is the room where the author of Anne of Green Gables was born. This room oozes charm and makes visitors long to go back and live in a simpler time.
At the top of a staircase is the room where the author of Anne of Green Gables was born. This room oozes charm and makes visitors long to go back and live in a simpler time. | Source

Birthplace Location

The home is close to Cavendish Beach and the farm that would inspire the writing of Anne of Green Gables. It also isn't far from Park Corner ("Silver Bush"), the location where Montgomery was later married.

  • New London was Originally known as Graham's Corner and Clifton.
  • It was first settled by Robert Clark. He arrived in 1773 and planned to build a settlement rivaling his native London.
  • The area, bordered by the New London Harbor, is "Clifton" to fans of the author's novels.

Away to to the westward, across to the harbor, the view was bounded by the New London Cape...

— L. M. Montgomery

Period Furniture Lends Old-World Charm to "Clifton"

Franklin Stove as seen in the kitchen. Each room has a particular charm.
Franklin Stove as seen in the kitchen. Each room has a particular charm. | Source

A Step Back in Time

You'll see the Franklin stove in the kitchen (the kind Anne used to warm herself) and a blue willow platter resides in the bookcase, a pattern that was used at the time and mentioned in Anne of Avonlea.

Nearby, the organ belonging to Montgomery's relatives, displays a copy of Island Hymn, written in 1908 by Lucy Maud who was asked by the Women's Institute to compose the words.

Visitors can view samples of the author's early poetry and her letters. Scrapbooks chronicle Montgomery's early years as a student at Prince of Wales College and her later career as a teacher and a writer. Montgomery carefully preserved events from her life along with treasured keepsakes, which fill numerous scrapbooks that are on display in the home.

The rooms in the house are tiny and yet somehow, the home seems very cozy and charming.

More Than Just a Quaint Home

So many insights are gained about the author through the memorabila she left for posterity, so a visit to this home offers more than quaint rooms and gives visitors a chance to learn more about the author and her life.

Author's Scrapbooks Chronicle Her Life for Posterity

Poetry, clippings, and events of L.M. Montgomery's life, as preserved and contained in scrapbooks.
Poetry, clippings, and events of L.M. Montgomery's life, as preserved and contained in scrapbooks. | Source

L. M. Montgomery Memorabilia

  • Imagining Anne--a compilation of L.M. Montgomery's Island scrapbooks
  • 5 journals--the author's diaries
  • Books written by L.M. Montgomery
  • An L.M. Montgomery book of poetry
  • Anne dolls
  • Licensed giftware--approved by Montgomery's heirs
  • Assorted Anne memorabilia

What Dress Did Montgomery Wear on her Wedding Day?

Visitors are treated to a rare delight. A replica of the author's wedding dress is on display, along with her wedding shoes and the slippers she wore on her honeymoon. This gives visitors a feel for the clothing of times gone by.

The home contains many items both for display and for purchase. Anne fans can pick up dinnerware, giftware items, books and are sure to come away with something to suit their tastes. Collectibles go well beyond the popular Anne doll for children, and many fine items are available for adult fans, as well.

How to Get There From Green Gables

If you've visited Green Gables or you know where it is, it is easy to find Montgomery's birthplace. Take Cavendish Road, #6 and follow it to Stanley Bridge, then continue on to New London. Turn right on #20 and the house is just down the road a short distance.

Google Maps Streetview Player offers continuous drive functionality if you prefer a visual.

Many newcomers to the island are delighted to discover that Montgomery's (and Anne's) favorite haunts are within close proximity, so it makes sense to visit more than one location if you are visiting the island.

New London, PEI

A markerNew London, PEI -
New London, PE C0A, Canada
get directions

Vist the Author's Favorite Haunts

When visiting the island make sure to visit other significant spots: the homestead where she lived with her grandparents (a forested path through the Haunted Wood can be taken down to Green Gables), Lover's Lane (behind Green Gables) and past her birthplace, the house at Park Corner where she was married.

2008 marked the 100th anniversary of publication of Anne of Green Gables.

As part of the Lucy Maud Montgomery Festival Days, Lucy Maude's Birthplace featured historians, guest speakers, and storytellers on-site to share their knowledge and passion for Montgomery's work.

Exciting Events Mark 100th Anniversary Since Publication of "Anne."

The house in New London, a short distance from New London Harbor, Green Gables and Cavendish Beach
The house in New London, a short distance from New London Harbor, Green Gables and Cavendish Beach | Source

'Old Prince Edward Island' is a good place in which to be born--a good place in which to spend a childhood... For lands have personalities just as well as human beings; and to know that personality you must live in the land and companion it and draw sustenance of body and spirit from it...

— L. M. Montgomery

Spirit of Place

This is a wonderful compilation of quotes and insights from L.M. Montgomery, taken from the Alpine Path, her diaries, and letters Lucy penned to George Boyd MacMillan, Penzie Macneill, and Ephraim Webber, set to wonderful photographs of the island places Montgomery knew and loved so deeply.

For those who want to see more images of the island and the places Montgomery loved, this volume is a valuable addition to fans' libraries.

When Visiting the Island

Make sure to try some raspberry cordial or stop in and have a plumb puff at any of the spots that offer these treats.

The Clock Turns Back to Yesteryear

House known as Clifton to Anne fans, as charming now as it was in Montgomery's day.
House known as Clifton to Anne fans, as charming now as it was in Montgomery's day. | Source

Peace! You never know what peace is until you walk on the shores or in the fields or along the winding red roads of Abegweit on a summer twilight when the dew is falling and the old, old stars are peeping out and the sea keeps its nightly tryst with the little land it loves. You find your soul then... You will say, 'Why... I have come home!'

— L. M. Montgomery

Have You Been To Montgomery's Birthplace?

See results

Visit and "Go Home" to a Simpler Time

Visitors are sure to come away with the feeling that they've somehow "gone home." Just as the stories and the movies sparked nostalgia from a worldwide audience that could appreciate a time when a person's word was their bond, when life moved at a slower pace, and where hearth and home pulled at the heartstrings, so too, a visit to Maud's birthplace evokes those same feelings.

© 2014 Athlyn Green

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Athlyn Green profile image
      Author

      Athlyn Green 3 years ago from West Kootenays

      The North Shore area of the island is truly beautiful.

    • mbgphoto profile image

      Mary Beth Granger 3 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

      We'll be going to PE Island this fall. Thanks for all the information.

    working