Description of Historic Place
The Senator Donald Montgomery House is a mid-Victorian, carpenter gothic Island ell farmhouse located in the rural community of Park Corner, Prince Edward Island.
The Senator Donald Montgomery House was built approximately 1875-1877. The house was an addition to an earlier circa 1850 home located at the east side of the home, which was removed prior to the 1890s. The house has been known by various names over the years including : "Park Corner", "Montgomery Manor", "Heath Montgomery Home", and the "Lucy Maud Montgomery Heritage Museum".
Donald Montgomery (1808-1893) was born at Fox Point, Malpeque and was the grandfather of internationally renowned author Lucy Maud Montgomery (1874-1942). L.M. Montgomery wrote fondly of her paternal grandfather in her journals and she had many happy memories of visits to this home which played a role in her development as a writer and many of its artifacts appear in her novels including "Anne of Green Gables". It was also the inspiration for the fictional "Ingleside", home of characters "Anne and Gilbert" in her later novels.
Donald Montgomery and his family resided at the Campbell's Pond area of Park Corner since 1832. Donald Montgomery or "Big Donald" to distinguish him from a cousin with the same name, was well known across the Island. Montgomery's political career included an appointment to represent Princetown in the Prince Edward Island Legislative Council from 1838 to 1861 when the Legislative Council became elected. Elected to the Legislative Assembly in 1862, he continued to serve in provincial politics until Confederation in 1873, when Montgomery was appointed to the Canadian Senate where he served until his death in 1893.
This home has remained in the Montgomery family for many generations and continues to be in the possession of Donald Montgomery's descendants. Following the Senator's death the home passed to his son, Heath Montgomery and his wife, Mary Ella. The home was operated for a time as a bed and breakfast and as the "Lucy Maud Montgomery Heritage Museum". The home is situated to enjoy views of both the Gulf of St. Lawrence and Campbell's Pond which L.M. Montgomery referred to as the "Lake of Shining Waters". Across the road from the Senator Donald Montgomery House is Silver Bush, the home of L.M. Montgomery's Campbell relatives.
Even though modern amenities have been added since L.M. Montgomery's day such as electricity and plumbing, the house is still much as she would have known it with its original hardwood floors and hand-painted wood-grained wood trim. In the mid-1970s, the kitchen windows were changed, and a shed dormer on southern roof of ell section was added. In 1990, the exterior wood clapboard siding was covered or replaced with vinyl siding.
The Senator Donald Montgomery House continues to be an important landmark in the Park Corner landscape and valued for its associations with the Montgomery family.
Source: Heritage Places files, Department of Education, Early Learning & Culture
File Number: 4310-20/S44
The heritage value of the residence is shown in the following character-defining elements:
- the overall massing of the house
- the two storey gable end facing main body of the house
- the steeply pitched roof
- the placement of the chimneys
- the ell section with lower roof line with a central dormer and double casement window
- the verandah which runs the front of the main body of the house and wraps the corner into the ell or kitchen wing
- the size and placement of the two-over-two sash windows on the main body of the house
- the two bay windows on the east elevation
- the centre dormer and shed dormer in the ell wing
- the west facing open verandah porch with side door to kitchen
- the north or back elevation enclosed entry to the cellar
Other contributing character-defining elements of the place:
- the location of the home on a low hill overlooking Campbell's Pond
- the original interior wood finishes
- the commemorative plaque and sandstone cairn dedicated to Senator Donald Montgomery located on the property grounds placed by the Clan Montgomery Society International in 1995