Bala's Museum with Memories of Lucy Maud Montgomery

  

Bala's Museum with Memories of Lucy Maud Montgomery Designation

 

Legal Description: 1024 Maple Avenue, Bala. Concession B, Lot 14, Medora; Plan 19, Part Lot 74. Roll Number 7-010-015

Description of PropertyBala’s Museum with Memories of Lucy Maud Montgomery

The two-storey, frame building located north of the intersection of Maple Avenue and River Street was built in phases between 1909 and 1915. The property has been restored and since 1992 has been a cultural heritage resource as a museum featuring exhibits related to L. M. Montgomery and Bala’s history.

Statement of Cultural Heritage Value or Interest
 
Bala’s Museum with Memories of Lucy Maud Montgomery was built in phases from 1909 to 1915. It served for many years as a tourist home and has been restored as a cultural heritage resource (museum). It is indicative of many homes constructed during that era; stone foundation, gabled roofline with dormers, covered verandah and maple flooring.

The property’s cultural heritage value lies in its service for many years as a tourist home and it’s subsequent restoration and adaptation to a museum. Historical and associative value also reside in the property’s association with Canadian author Lucy Maud Montgomery, who wrote numerous short stories, poems and more than twenty novels including Anne of Green Gables.

On October 19, 1909, Fanny Pike obtained title to the property, purchasing it for $175.00 from Katherine W. Carr, a daughter of Thomas Burgess who founded Bala. Fanny and her husband, Charles Pike, had recently come to the area from England likely because Fanny’s brother lived in Bala. Charles worked as a trackwalker for the railway that had reached Bala in 1907. Charles built the Pike home, which originally had a single room on the main floor and an upper sleeping loft. By 1915, the Pikes had expanded the residence to its current footprint and were taking in guests at what was called “Tree Lawn House.” Fanny Pike also assisted Bala’s doctor as a midwife.

In 1922, Lucy Maud Montgomery vacationed with her husband the Reverend Ewan Macdonald and two sons at Roselawn Lodge on what is now River Street. The dining room was not staffed at Roselawn that summer, so the family ate all meals at Tree Lawn. Montgomery’s diary describes Fanny Pike and Tree Lawn, as well as many of the sights and sounds of Bala. As recorded in diary entries, that two-week holiday provided the inspiration and setting for Montgomery’s novel The Blue Castle, published in 1926. It is the only one of her novels not set on Prince Edward Island.

Since 1992, this building has served as a museum with many exhibits featuring L. M. Montgomery and other aspects of Bala’s history. The interior has been restored to the period of Montgomery’s visit to Bala. Exterior repairs have respected the integrity of materials and finishes and many replaced features were salvaged from local buildings to maintain authenticity to the time period. The Museum regularly hosts cultural events. Visitors from across Canada, the United States, Europe and Asia have enjoyed this cultural heritage resource while gaining insight into the personal life of one of Canada’s most widely translated authors.

Description of Heritage Attributes

Key attributes that reflect the building’s design, historical, and associative value are:

  • Gabled roofline with dormers
  • Painted cove siding envelope
  • Stone foundation
  • Covered verandah and upper level porches with decorative railings
  • Wooden lattice in gables of second-floor porches
  • Original two-over-two wooden sash windows in existing openings
  • Original front door with two lock sets facing River Street
  • Original interior staircase and newel post
  • Original maple flooring
  • Unobstructed view from Maple Avenue and River Street towards the house

Appended: Photographs:

Photographs:

Side entrance facing Maple Avenue; original Pike house on left side

Bala's Museum side entrance

Front View

Bala's Museum front view

 

w3cP.O. Box 129, 1 Bailey St., Port Carling, Ontario, P0B 1J0  Phone:(705)765-3156  Fax:(705)765-6755
Municipal Office hours: Monday to Friday 8:15 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (excluding holidays)