“Tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it… Yet.” — L. M. Montgomery Anne of Green Gables
When I was in the fifth grade, I was struggling through the first few chapters of The Hobbit. It wasn’t holding my interest and I had a gift card to Walden Books. I picked up several books, including Anne of Green Gables, which I ditched The Hobbit for and never looked back. It quickly became my favorite book (I now have copies of almost every work of fiction L.M. Montgomery ever published). I’ve read it several times since then and have wanted to go to Prince Edward Island to see the Green Gables house for at least fifteen years now. I had friends who went and would bring me home souvenirs when they did, but this trip was the first time I had the opportunity to set foot on Montgomery’s beloved island (and it is easy to see why she loved it and was able to draw so much inspiration from it).
The house and property that served as the inspiration for Green Gables actually belonged to cousins through Lucy Maud Montgomery’s maternal grandparents (who raised her after the early death of her mother; her father left PEI and took up in a distant part of Canada when she was just a child). The farmhouse has been preserved and the property is host to the Green Gables Heritage Place and Visitor Center. The barn contains displays and information about the history of farming in the area. It is also home to a small café (with absolutely delicious pastries) and a small theater. We visited as the tourist season was just getting underway so some things (like the theater) hadn’t started their regular performances but we also managed to avoid any large crowds (which I tend to prefer when I’m visiting sites where I’m so highly invested already). There are restrooms available in the Visitor Center and by the house itself as well as a number of picnic tables in the barnyard area.
There were several tour guides stationed throughout the rooms of the house itself who could answer our questions about the items that were in the house (keeping geraniums in the windows to cut down on bugs and a really interesting and utilitarian stove design in the kitchen were among my favorite facts). It is a self-guided tour and flash photography is allowed inside the house (both of which made me extremely happy). The garden in the front yard is well tended and the lilacs were in full bloom when we were there, adding to the atmosphere. The house looks out on a trail through the woods that was Montgomery’s inspiration for the Haunted Wood in the Anne books with the trail that inspired Lover’s Lane leading through the woods at the back of the house. Both trails are open for walking, but you’ll have to keep an eye out for golf balls as the Green Gables Golf Course borders the property on both sides.
When purchasing admission to the Green Gables house, there is a bundle option that includes visits to the house where she was born and the site of her grandparents’ farm where she grew up. In fact, the Haunted Wood Trail leads to the site of her grandparents’ farm and passes by the site where she attended school. The details of the site of her grandparents’ farm will follow in a later post, so stay tuned.