Thursday, October 1, 2009

parsonage

We, uh, I had to see at least one more Anne thing before we left PEI. At random, I chose the Bideford Parsonage Museum, the boarding house where Lucy Maud stayed for three years while she taught school.
And it was a great choice. The local who minded it very proudly told us the history. Unlike the buildings in the Avonlea village which "the Cavendish man just took and moved there" the Parsonage is in its original location, saved from touristic relocation by the residents of Bideford.

In their passion, they also lovingly restored the house to the time Lucy Maud resided there, from rebuilding the staircase to matching of the wallpaper. They had to remove several layers of wallpaper until they hit the one that was of the correct time and from there faithfully reproduced it. The frame holds the original discovered wallpaper, on the wall is the reproduction:

The kitchen led into the pantry where I learned was the location of a scene that inspired a happening in Anne of Green Gables. Apparently, it was here at the Parsonage that a bottle on medicine was mistaken for vanilla and was mixed into a layer cake. This ill-flavored cake was then served to the visiting minister, who bravely ate it without complaint, to the later embarrassment of Parsonage cook. Those familiar with the Anne books know that Lucy Maud had Anne bake a similar distasteful cake for the visiting minister--an obvious real-life inspiration!

On the upper floor, the room where Lucy Maud stayed in was also gorgeously restored:

I adored the replicas of her clothing:and I wondered which books or stories she wrote while sitting at her desk:

In the back, there was a shed area that was used probably at one time used for the horses or storage. It was filled with time-appropriate paraphernalia and reproductions as well as extremely interesting facts.
It was here that Squatchie and I learned that back then most people used the Eaton's catalog pages as toilet paper and when Eaton began to print their catalogs on glossy stock there was quite an uproar.Which is probably why the catalog they were using as a display was a 1960's Sears one. I bet those old Eaton ones are hard to find!

1 comment:

bpm.bideford said...

Hello Grace Lin -
Greetings from Prince Edward Island! We are so glad that you enjoyed your visit to the Bideford Parsonage Museum! My husband and I are members of the Board of Directors for the Museum and hope that if you are able to return, that we will have the opportunity to meet you to share more of our knowledge of Lucy Maud Montgomery's year in Bideford. Maud also stayed at and, throughout her year in Bideford, often visited my great-grandfather's home here in Bideford. If you would like to communicate with us further, you may email us at bpm.bideford@pei.sympatico.ca
Janice and Wayne