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Maudern Times - “Maud’s Museum: The Next Step”


Barb Pratt, LMMSO


The Historic Leaskdale Church, formerly St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church, is now a Visitor’s Centre, Welcome Centre, Information Centre, an increasingly popular Museum, and a well-used public venue.

Twenty years ago the downstairs of the church was a somewhat dingy community Sunday School and meeting area. As soon as the Lucy Maud Montgomery Society (LMMSO) acquired the church, they started renovating: stripping the walls back to the studs, putting in new wiring, new ceiling, and new floor, and renovating the kitchen with new cupboards and appliances.

The upstairs sanctuary received fresh paint, refurbished stained glass windows and new carpeting, but otherwise, was left virtually the same as it was in L.M. Montgomery’s time.

The downstairs has become a bright, modern space which is busy every week of the year, often the scene of luncheons and teas, sometimes for groups of 50, 60, or more.

It is the venue for clubs and organizations, and it is often a place for parties and dinners.

Tours of the Leaskdale Manse Historic Site start there, so the space is furnished with displays, photographs and artifacts which tell the story of the L.M. Montgomery years in Leaskdale.

The LMMSO has launched a fundraising campaign to take the site further.

The plan is for a well-appointed Museum, with accessible, interactive displays. There will be a special place for young people to explore the ideas Montgomery’s writing inspire. Outdoor displays are being designed: signage which explains the background of the church and the history of the village of Leaskdale. The parking lot will be expanded to accommodate the increasing number of visitors.

Details of the campaign to raise funds for these improvements are on the website, at www.lucymaudmontgomery.ca. Also, on the website, you can check out all the events, in this, the 150th year of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s birth, to be held at the Historic Leaskdale Church.

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