The Lucy Maud Montgomery Birthplace is a one-and-one-half storey vernacular cottage built to a centre hall plan with a kitchen ell addition located in New London.
Why is this place important?
The Lucy Maud Montgomery Birthplace is valued for its age, architectural integrity and its association with the world famous author Lucy Maud Montgomery and its role as a destination for tourists and Montgomery enthusiasts.
This small rural one-and-one-half storey cottage was built by Senator Donald Montgomery (1807-1893) of Park Corner in approximately 1874 for his son Hugh John Montgomery and his wife Clara Woolner Macneill, parents of Lucy Maud Montgomery (1874-1942). Lucy Maud Montgomery was born in the house on 30 November 1874. Sadly, Clara Montgomery died of tuberculosis when her daughter was only 21 months of age. Lucy Maud was raised in Cavendish by her maternal grandparents and her father later re-located to Saskatchewan where he remarried.
The building has retained many of its original architectural features and remains on its original site. Besides the addition of an ell wing in approximately 1890, the structure has seen little change until some work in 1965 when windows were changed to six over six pane sash windows, and a concrete foundation added. A store on the property once operated by Hugh John Montgomery was destroyed in a 1938 fire.
The property was held by a number of owners subsequent to the Montgomery family. The property was transferred to the provincial government to be operated as a tourist attraction as part of the 1964 Centennial celebrations. In 1965 the L.M. Montgomery Act was passed "to provide for the administration, operation and maintenance of the birthplace of Lucy Maud Montgomery". A volunteer foundation continues to operate the site. Many items associated with the author are on display including a replica of her wedding dress and original shoes, and original scrapbooks. Period furnishings provide visitors with a glimpse of a late 19th century rural home.
Montgomery's literary works have spurred not only general and academic interest in her writings, but also great interest in the Prince Edward Island places where she was born, lived and loved attracting visitors to the province since the publication of her first novel Anne of Green Gables in 1908.
Located at New London corner, the Lucy Maud Montgomery Birthplace is an important landmark in its community and to the province.
Source: Heritage Places records, PEI Department of Education, Early Learning & Culture, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8
File # 4320-20/L1
The heritage value of the building is shown in the following character-defining elements:
- the wood frame and wood shingle construction
- the six over six windows and lintels
- the panelled doors
- the roof pitch
- the wooden roof shingles
- the central chimney
- the centred door, open porch and verandah posts
- the kitchen ell
- the shed roof extension over the entrance to the kitchen ell
- its location in New London