At the Ceilidh in Avonlea Village, one of the players joked about the way Islanders give directions for how to get somewhere. Today (8/4/11), we got a first hand experience with the real thing. We set out this morning to see if we could find L.M. Montgomery’s Aunt Emily Campbell’s house (the one after which New Moon was modeled). I knew it was in Melpeque, and that was it. We stopped in at a museum to ask, and got the following directions: Go right at the church, then turn left–Go straight; don’t go down by the wharf. After that, take a right at the dirt road. Then, look for the other dirt road, and it’s right there on the left.

New Moon (and the road to it.)

Got it?

Sooo, we set out and drove around a bit. Finally, we found a dirt road that was called “Montgomery Street.” We figured that might be a clue, so we turned down it. At the end was a house that looked like the pictures I’ve seen of New Moon. I went to the door and asked if it was the house, and it was. (Score!) They let me walk around and take pictures. I’d asked if they’d found anything in the house (They bought it in the 1960’s), but they said they hadn’t found anything yet, though there were some built-in drawers and cabinets they hadn’t checked yet. It was fun to find, anyway.

After that, we checked out a few beaches, then went back to “Silverbush,” which is the location of the Anne of Green Gables Museum and the Lake of Shining Waters. We had found out that the location was still owned and operated by the Campbell cousins, so I wanted to see if I could interview some of them. Pam Campbell was working, so she shared a bit of her family history with me. Her father was James Campbell, a close correspondent of L.M. Montgomery’s for many years, and one with whom she shared deep hardships in her life. One especially interesting display showed a letter Maud had written him begging him not to go to war, as he was the only male Campbell (and fretting that her son would be sent to war.) She also shared some of her disappointment in her older son’s choices (and failed marriage), and her worries over her husband. In light of the letter supposedly predicting her suicide, it was interesting to read another source in which Montgomery shares her deep personal pain.

"Silverbush" The Anne of Green Gables Museum

Pam also shared personal anecdotes about her father. She explained that he and Maud connected over their shared love of nature and books. He disregarded her interests about war and enlisted anyway, but had a slight stammer, so he was rejected as a radio operator. He later wanted to be a banker, but Maud convinced him (and invested for him) to stay on the Campbell property, though his daughter states he wasn’t the best farmer. She also shared that Maud was very “into” clothes and jewelry and would bring her trinkets over to show Georgie. In one such instance, Maud asked Georgie which piece she’d most want if she could have any of them. Her selection turned out to be a piece of dime-store jewelry.

Cavedish Beach

Finally, we ended the evening driving over to Cavendish Beach and taking a few more pictures. We’ll see what new adventures tomorrow brings!

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