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Road to Anne’s house…..

September 2022

The biggest draw for including Prince Edward Island on our adventures had to have been my life long love of Anne of Green Gables. My Nova Scotian granny had given me the book when I was young and told me of how beautiful she had thought the island was on her own visits. Like readers worldwide I tumbled into the world LM Montgomery had created from her own childhood on the island and went on to read any of her books I could find. I loved the CBC mini series with Megan Followes and then loved in a quite different way Anne with an E on tv. And I knew I wasn’t alone in my fandom, so I wasn’t surprised when the park attendant at the Green Gables site asked if I had come on pilgrimage!

Before we ever crossed the bridge though we had some lovely times. Coming up from Mavilette Beach I had reserved a spot at a Boondockers Welcome host It was our first time using this group - a collection of hosts where you can boondock for free. We pulled up and were directed to a spot on a large field by the friendly hosts. We stayed for two nights and enjoyed nightly coffee and conversation, a good walk through the woods and left having made good friends that we intend to visit again! I was able to do two paintings from the RV, the one with the house in the background I gifted the hosts with.

While there we took a drive over to the museum in Stellarton to see the exhibit on hockey. My grandfather was a hockey player in his early twenties for one of the city teams. This exhibit concentrated on diversity in the hockey history and was fascinating to see examples of early Mi’kmaq hockey stick artistry as well as a surprisingly early history of women playing.

From there we crossed over the Confederation bridge to PEI. Our first stop was the Cavendish KOA right in the heart of Anne country. It was fortunately by now September as the shuttered amusement parks and water parks let us know it is probably very crowded and touristy in the summer.

Our first stop was the Anne of Green Gables National Historic site. The main building gave me much to read and look at from early childhood photos and tales of the author to handwritten manuscripts pages to the cover of Anne in many different languages. I was also struck by the quotes from various notables, female AND male, who had been touched by the personality of Anne.

The museum is on the grounds of the house, owned by the author’s cousins, that inspired LM Montgomery to create “Green Gables”. The flower beds were charming and the rooms set up in a manner to evoke the books but I must admit I like the tv and movie versions better. There is a section of “Lovers Lane” (shown below) and you can walk through a section of the “Haunted Wood” (past a golf course!) to the site run by family of the place where she lived with her grandparents after her mother died. We did walk it and although the house is gone and it’s just the cellar foundation I paid to walk the grounds. I enjoyed looking from where her bedroom window was and imagining her writing there.

There is a section left that was the post office she and her grandmother ran ( or at least a replica) and a nice park nearby with a statue of LM Montgomery.

Across the road is the cemetary where she is buried. I found more “scope for imagination” in the older graves than in her more modern one crowded by two bushes though. Like many a fan I often combine the author with her creation so I expected her grave to be an “Anne“ one - perhaps overgrown with daisies or hollyhocks or with a fragrant lilac!

We also drove by the “Lake of Shining Waters” inspiration and stopped by the little cottage Licy Maud was born in. Later during a plein air festival I went there as a painting site and in fact the painting sold that weekend at the exhibit!

Later in Charlottetown I went to the store for all things Anne and couldn’t resist the all important costume item!

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Sher Brown
Sher Brown

Your paintings are beautiful. What a thoughtful gift to leave your hosts. I too enjoyed Anne of Green Gables, and Anne with an E on tv. I have to admit your hat and braids at the end reminded me of a movie my grandma took me too when I was just a little girl. Have you ever seen Pippy Long Stockings?

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