PEI

Historic Montgomery house gets a new life thanks to Lucy Maud descendant

The Lucy Maud Montgomery Heritage Museum in Park Corner, P.E.I., is being transformed into an inn.

Old relics found in the walls will be on display when the 138-year-old former museum becomes an inn

Paul Montgomery, the owner of the Montgomery Inn, displays the top off an old wooden chest found in the historic house. (CBC)

When is a house not just a home? When it's a former museum and the historic residence of the grandfather of one of this country's most beloved writers. 

The Lucy Maud Montgomery Heritage Museum in Park Corner, P.E.I., is being transformed into an inn.  

The house was known as Ingleside in some of Lucy Maud's stories, and was the model for Anne and Gilbert's home on Prince Edward Island in the Anne series of novels. 

The future Montgomery Inn in Park Corner, P.E.I. (CBC)

Paul Montgomery, who shares his storied ancestor's name (first cousin, twice removed), bought the place from his father, Robert, who had run it a museum for a number of years. 

Now, renovations are underway, with Montgomery trying to keep the historic aspects of the house as intact as possible, though he does plan to add all of the mod-cons, including more washrooms, air conditioning and, of course, internet access. 

"We're trying to do as much as we can to restore the house to its original form," he said. 

Poetry books, letter found in the walls

A sepia-toned letter addressed to the Hon. Donald Montgomery, Lucy Maud's grandfather. (CBC)

Sometimes, a renovation can turn up a surprise or two and that's certainly true in the case of the Montgomery Inn, where all manner of treasures have been uncovered within its walls, having fallen through from the attic.

There are books with brittle, yellowed pages, old pottery, the lid off of a wooden chest and some old bottles.

There is also a letter of appointment to the Canadian senate, sent to Donald Montgomery, one of the Island's first senators and grandfather of Lucy Maud, who stayed at the house when she visited him.

Some of the letters and books discovered inside the property by Paul Montgomery. (CBC)

The new owner plans to put much of it on display when he opens the inn. 

"It was kind of neat. You know, you open up a wall and you see something in there ... and you have absolutely no idea," Montgomery said. 

He hopes to have the Montgomery Inn ready for visitors by August. 

With files from Sarah MacMillan

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