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Cornelius Leard House

2904 Route 112, Lower Bedeque, Prince Edward Island, C0B, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2010/06/03

Front elevation; Province of PEI, F. Pound, 2010
Front elevation
Side elevation; Province of PEI, F. Pound, 2010
Side elevation
Front elevation; Province of PEI, F. Pound, 2009
Front elevation

Other Name(s)

Cornelius Leard House
MacFarlane House

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2012/11/01

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Cornelius Leard House is a one and a half storey house built in maritime vernacular style with a centre gable, located in Lower Bedeque, Prince Edward Island.

Heritage Value

The Cornelius Leard house is valued for its connection to Lucy Maud Montgomery (1874-1942) who resided at this home while employed as a school teacher at Lower Bedeque School.

Cornelius Leard and his family came to live in Lower Bedeque in 1863, after relocating from Tryon, Prince Edward Island. He and his wife Amy Jane had 8 children. In 1897 their son Alphius Leard began the school year as a teacher at the local community school. In the fall of 1897, Alphius left the school to pursue medical training and Lucy Maud Montgomery came to board at the Leard House as the substitute school teacher. It was during this time that she met and fell in love with Herman Leard, the eldest son of the Leard family.

At this time in her life Montgomery was beginning to pursue the quiet lifestyle of a school teacher. The previous year she had become secretly engaged to Edward Simpson, a theological student from French River and a future Baptist minister. Montgomery felt deeply conflicted about her feelings for Herman Leard. Their romance continued in secret until March 1898, when the death of her grandfather meant Montgomery would be called away to care for her elderly grandmother in Cavendish. It was in this setting and relative isolation that Lucy Maud would draw from her imagination the world famous novel "Anne of Green Gables", and begin down her path as a world famous author. A brief visit to the Leard House in the fall of 1898 would end fully her relationship to Herman Leard, who died the following year of influenza.

The school house in which Lucy Maud taught during her time in Bedeque is presently operated as a community museum.

The Leard House itself is an example of maritime vernacular style, with a centre gable and relatively simple lay out. A portion of the home was skidded across winter fields to the community of Fernwood. The remaining structure has survived largely unaltered with only the replacement of certain windows and the addition of a back wing and enclosed veranda. Ownership of the home passed to Dr. Al Leard, and then to the MacFarlane family. Two of Cornelius Leard's daughters had married into the MacFarlane family.

Source : Culture and Heritage Division, Department of Tourism and Culture, Charlottetown, PEI
File # : 4310-20/L6

Character-Defining Elements

The heritage value of the home is shown in the following character-defining elements:

- the centre gable
- the original wood frame
- the steeply pitched roof
- the original window openings on front elevation
- eave returns on front elevation at dormer edge
- the second storey window openings on west elevation

Other character-defining elements

- the close proximity to Bedeque Bay and Hurd's Point and the historical site of ferry crossings from Bedeque to Summerside



Prince Edward Island

Recognition Authority

Province of Prince Edward Island

Recognition Statute

Heritage Places Protection Act

Recognition Type

Registered Historic Place

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design

Function - Category and Type



Single Dwelling

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Source : Culture and Heritage Division, Department of Tourism and Culture, Charlottetown, PEI File # : 4310-20/L6

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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