What becomes a legend most? Around the world, it’s Anne of Green Gables, a feisty redheaded girl with iconic pigtails who has delighted readers in over a dozen languages. The book, published in 1908, was an instant success, necessitating 10 printings in just its first year. An estimated 50 million copies of the books have been sold. Yep, it’s true. Anne has reached a level of stardom even Miley Cyrus would envy.
The centre of the Anne universe is beautiful Cavendish. Start with the preserved gabled house that inspired author Lucy Maud Montgomery to use as a setting for her novels. Everywhere you turn, there’s another name you’ve heard before in the books and in the Anne of Green Gables movies, from Lovers Lane to Haunted Woods. Drop in to see some Montgomery’s great-grandson, John Macneill who still lives in her former home. They offer tours of the homestead, now a National Historic Site, where Montgom- ery’s grandparents raised her from 1876 to 1911.
Walking through Avonlea, Village of Anne of Green Gables, don’t be surprised to see a modern-day version of Anne emerge from one of the heritage buildings. This enormously popular attraction paints a vivid picture of what life was like for Anne – the fun she had attend- ing kitchen parties and playing spoons, and watching pig races – over 100 years ago. Participation is encouraged, whether there’s oyster shucking happening or dancing lessons. Wagon ride? You betcha. (Pick up some homemade chocolates as souvenirs for Anne fans back home.) In nearby New London, visit L.M.’s birthplace and see her scrapbooks and wedding dress.
Also on the Green Gables Shores is the Anne of Green Gable Museum where you can see artifacts from the time Montgomery spent with her relatives, The Campbells. Want to get really interactive? Get married in the same parlour where the author said, “I do.” The Shining Waters Craft Shop and Tea Room offer special wedding packages catering to hardcore Anne fans. Too much? Visit the Lucy Maud Montgomery Heritage Museum set in her family home. Fans of the book become giddy when they see the authentic objects mentioned in Montgomery’s tomes, from Magog, the china dog and the rosebud-spray tea set. Need proof of your Anne love? Dress up in period costume and long red braids at Cavendish Figurines, located at Gateway Village in Borden-Carleton.
Before you wrap up an Anne- filled experience, pay your respects to the writer at her gravesite in the Cavendish Community Cemetery.
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