The Land of Anne of Green Gables

Prince Edward Island Pt. 2

Park Corner
Anne of Green Gables Museum, Campbell Farm, Park Corner, PEI, Canada © 2009 Michelle Basic Hendry

No trip to Prince Edward Island is complete without touring “Anne’s Land”. It is so easy to see why this coast was Lucy Maud Montgomery’s favourite. Unlike much of the waterfront here which is crammed with cottages on narrow lots, farms ran right down to the ocean. The vibrant contrast of the sparkling blue water and the ruddy soil was, at times, startling to the senses. After a while, I became used to so much saturated colour and open space and I crave it now.

We nearly missed my favourite house on the tour. I didn’t know it would be my favourite house. As it turns out, it was also Lucy Maud’s. This was the house of her Aunt and Uncle Campbell in Park Corner. We had to do a 3 point turn off a narrow highway and on the edge of a farmer’s field to get back to it. Remember that we are in a 36′ RV!

Park Corner
L.M. Montgomery’s room at Park Corner © 2009 Michelle Basic Hendry

Remarkably, this house has remained in the Campbell family and is still a privately run museum. From their website:

George and Maureen Campbell are the owners/operators of the Anne of Green Gables Museum, located on route 20 in Park Corner. The Campbell home, that L.M. Montgomery called ‘the wonder castle of my childhood’, was built in 1872 by her Uncle John and Aunt Annie Campbell. The first Campbells settled here in 1776 and it is still in the Campbell family after more than two hundred and thirty years. 

The view of the barn and the cove was stunning and each of the rooms were beautifully kept examples of what they would have looked like at the turn of the 20th century. The bookcases were full and one cabinet had first edition copies of Montgomery’s books signed to her family members. Rarely have I been in such an old home that is so beautifully kept and lacks the ‘heavy’ feeling that so many old farmhouses, particularly here in Ontario, can have.

Our next stop was “Green Gables“. This was L.M. Montgomery’s cousin’s home where she spent much of her youth and inspired the setting for “Anne of Green Gables”.

Green Gables, PEI National Park
Green Gables, PEI National Park © 2009 Michelle Basic Hendry

There are some downsides to the great thing that protecting and preserving a historic building can bring. There was not much feeling here. Lots of well kept old objects and some beautiful surroundings, but that sense of life was missing. It was an impressive collection, however and well worth a see.

Dalvay by the Sea
Dalvay by the Sea (White Sands Hotel) © 2009 Michelle Basic Hendry

The last place we visited in “Avonlea” was actually quite a distance from Cavendish. The famous “White Sands Hotel”. The building was once an Ohio businessman’s private retreat, but is now a hotel in operation called ‘Dalvay by the Sea’. It sits on a lovely lagoon a short walk from the Dunes of the eastern edge of PEI National Park. We were there a full month early as the hotel was only being prepared for guests. The custodian was out sweeping the deck an apologised that he could not open the hotel to us. The carpets were just cleaned and were still wet. There was also a very ‘mean’ guard dog who liked to bark, but couldn’t be bothered to get up to complete the effort!

I have visited many places that were empty but still have a ‘feeling’ to them. To me, the life on the Island was not in the attractions, but in the wild places, the windswept dunes, the cliffs and in the faces of the farmers we passed with a wave from their tractors.

As promised – for Patrick – Here is a picture of the RV (we were in eastern Quebec when I took this!)

RV
The RV © 2009 Michelle Basic Hendry

Next – PEI National Park – the beaches and lighthouses…

Comments

  1. Michelle, you are bringing back so many wonderful memories for me with these posts from PEI.

    There was a restaurant we always were sure to get to – Cafe On the Clyde – in New Glasow. Owned by the PEI preserve company. I used their beautiful location to paint on several occasions.

    They have homemade desserts!

  2. Sounds like things are still in the ‘getting ready’ stage on PEI. They had a long winter! Lots of Anne-sites to visit and just know about in the new edition of the AGG Treasury. Should be available in Anne-type places on PEI.

  3. Wow Michelle, this bus looks enormous.
    I’d like the same but cut just after the back wheels.
    I guess it’s not only a mobile home but also a mobile studio :)

    Thank you very much for the photo but can i suggest to keep the RV at home if you come in Provence ? We have some very small roads here :)

  4. Michelle says:

    Lori – I am going to have to remember that place for when I return next year! I have one more post coming with my favourite photos.

    Carolyn – Yes – they are still getting ready. Their winter was a lot like ours!

    Patrick…. No worries. I think it’s too big to ship over! :) There is no better way to travel. I love it….

  5. Dear Michelle, I’ve missed so much here of your trip. So glad I stopped in. These photos are singularly beautiful and moved me to tears as it looks so like Maine where I grew up. Your photography is book quality in that you it reminds me of National Geographic articles on PEI.

    Lucky you getting to go into these old/historical/famous homes. I would LOVE doing that. I DO love it. Seeing that little bedroom was just magical for me. I literally could travel around the country just seeing places like this alternated with place in nature. My husband and I hope to do exactly that some day.

    I just found all these posts simply magical. Somehow you have conveyed so well to the us the readers the FEEL or SENSE of the place. For me the area just came to life. Made me hungry to travel again.

    Also, do you know that you are a real Renaissance woman?!! Well, you are! I really relate to that. Isn’t it fun to have so many interests and creative projects like photography and art and music and nature and all the rest. I want to take up painting some day, just don’t yet have time to add to my current projects. LOL!! But at some point.

    It really is inspiring to see someone who is NOT wasting their life. Good for you, Michelle.

    Sending you a big hug,
    Robin

  6. my first thought at the pictures, get out of bed to quickly and you will whack your head on the ceiling :p

    thank you for sharing the pictures :D really enjoying seeing and reading about your travels

  7. Oh my goodness what a wonderful post. My daughters loved Anne of Green Gables so much as children. Beautiful photography as always.
    Love,
    Linda

  8. I love this post! I read and re-read Anne of Green Gables books as a kid, and always imagined those houses. And these fill in the pictures perfectly.

    Thanks for sharing :)

  9. Michelle says:

    Yes – Robin! I do have a lot of creative interests – it’s true. I hope you’ll catch my last post on the Island. These are my favourite pictures and words. Perhaps someday we can paint together!

    Jennifer Rose – I wondered about that… :)

    Thank you, Linda! :)

    That’s great, Svasti!

  10. Wonderful photos…everything looks so crisp and well taken care of…enjoy your time away! Maybe I’ll get there someday!

    cheers

  11. ciao io sono italiana
    e non capisco i vostri commenti