In two previous blog posts we covered Cavendish, New London and French River sites that should not be missed by Anne fans coming to Prince Edward Island. Today we would like to talk about yet another place that was very close to L.M. Montgomery’s heart – Park Corner. Located just a few minutes west of Cape Tryon, Park Corner played a very significant role in Maud’s life – her paternal grandfather, Senator Donald Montgomery, lived here (in a stately homestead, which later became an inspiration for Ingleside) as well as Maud’s favourite cousins – “the merry Campbell cousins.”
If you are a huge fan of L.M. Montgomery, you may decide to book the Lucy Maud room in the new Montgomery Inn at Ingleside operated by Paul and Michele Montgomery. This 1877 homestead nestled on a 4-acre property overlooking the Gulf of St. Lawrence has recently been beautifully renovated and converted into a Heritage Country Inn. L.M. Montgomery’s grandfather, Donald Montgomery, lived in this home until his death in 1893 and this is where Maud was introduced to the two china dogs Gog and Magog.
A little bit more west, on the Lake of Shining Waters, you will find the Anne of Green Gables Museum at Silver Bush. Having lost her mother at 21 months of age and being raised by her elderly grandparents, Maud was always looking forward to her visits at her Aunt Annie and Uncle John’s home in Park Corner, which she called “the wonder castle of my childhood.”
“Uncle John Campbell’s house was a big white one, smothered in orchards. Here, in other days, there was a trio of merry cousins to rush out and drag me in with greeting and laughter. The very walls of that house must have been permeated by the essence of good times. And there was a famous old pantry, always stored with goodies, into which it was our habit to crowd at bedtime and devour unholy snacks with sounds of riot and mirth,” Maud wrote in her autobiography “The Alpine Path: The Story of My Career” in 1917.
She spent many happy times there as the house was no stranger to fun, laughter, great company, and delicious food. After L.M. Montgomery’s grandmother passed away in March of 1911, Maud moved to Park Corner and it was in the parlour of Uncle John’s house that she married Rev. Ewan Macdonald on July 5, 1911. After their honeymoon in Europe the newly-weds moved to Leaskdale, Ontario, where Maud lived for the rest of her life as a minister’s wife. Every time she visited her beloved Prince Edward Island, she always returned for a few days to Park Corner though. She had a lot of interest in this property and wanted it to stay in the Campbell family, which it has.
There is a lot to see at the Anne of Green Gables Museum – the dishes Maud would have used, the screw she measured herself by when visiting the Campbells, the crazy patchwork quilt she made, and the organ used during her wedding ceremony. Anne fans from around the world will not want to miss the china cabinet that came from Maud’s Cavendish homestead and was the inspiration for Anne’s enchanted bookcase. Don’t forget to look for imaginary friends and kindred spirits in the reflections or see your own reflection in the mirror L.M. Montgomery used in her Cavendish home. “The Blue Chest” and its contents from “The Story Girl” are also on display at the Museum as well as first edition books and L.M. Montgomery’s photographs.
It was here, during the long walks by the Lake of Shining Waters with the Campbell cousins that “the race of Joseph” was discussed and later used in the Anne series. No wonder that Silver Bush has always attracted Kindred Spirits and those belonging to “the race of Joseph”. After all, “The race that knows Joseph is the salt of the airth”, as Captain Jim put it. L.M. Montgomery said once that there is no other place like Park Corner and we wholeheartedly agree… Park Corner and the Lake of Shining Waters are true gems that should not be missed.
To make your visit to Silver Bush a truly memorable one, take advantage of an authentic Anne experience – Matthew’s carriage ride by the Lake of Shining Waters. Call the Museum to make a reservation at 1-800-665-2663 a day before you plan to come. And for beautiful gifts designed by the Campbell family, direct descendants of LMM and the owners of Silver Bush, visit our online store!