PEI

P.E.I. school where L.M. Montgomery taught being moved to new site

The historic Lower Bedeque schoolhouse, where beloved Prince Edward Island author Lucy Maud Montgomery once taught, will soon be on the move to a new location.

'The reality is that if it isn't moved, it's going to disappear'

The Lower Bedeque schoolhouse is pictured in 2015, complete with a tailor's dummy clad in a dress that a schoolteacher might have worn in the late 1800s. (Nancy Russell/CBC)

The historic Lower Bedeque schoolhouse, where beloved Prince Edward Island author Lucy Maud Montgomery once taught, will soon be on the move to a new location.

The current structure dates back to 1880; Montgomery was a teacher there for about six months in the late 1890s.

That was about a decade before her first novel Anne of Green Gables was published to international acclaim.

The building is being moved to a park across from the Bedeque Area Historical Museum.

"Maybe not everybody in the community will think it's a good idea, but the reality is that if it isn't moved, it's going to disappear," said Percy Affleck of the Bedeque Area Historical Society, the group that has taken over the school. 

"It will be junk and will have to be destroyed and cleaned up. It's definitely an important community fixture."

The building had been open to the public in the summer months, but hasn't been lately, mostly due to a lack of volunteers.

The coal-burning stove was donated to the Lower Bedeque schoolhouse in memory of a teacher who taught there in 1924-1925. (Nancy Russell/CBC)

Affleck said the move is expected to take place before the end of the month at an estimated cost of $80,000.

He said the schoolhouse will need a new floor once it is moved, so will not be open to the public this summer.

The building's long-term future depends on continued community support and visitors, Affleck added.

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