Cel­e­brat­ing his­tory

A cen­tury of na­tional his­toric sites in Canada was cel­e­brated at Green Gables Her­itage Place on Satur­day

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - THE ISLAND - BY MAU­REEN COUL­TER

Caleb MacNevin, 3, of Char­lot­te­town couldn’t get enough of the home­made ice cream at Green Gables Her­itage Place on Satur­day.

Caleb, his sis­ter Elena, 5, and par­ents Adelee and Phil went on a fam­ily ex­cur­sion to Cavendish to take part in a fun-filled day at Green Gables Her­itage Place in cel­e­bra­tion of the 100th an­niver­sary of na­tional his­toric sites in Canada.

“He kept go­ing back to turn the han­dle,” laughs Adelee. “He wanted to keep help­ing them and get­ting in­volved in mak­ing the ice cream.”

Green Gables was a busy spot as peo­ple snapped pic­tures with fic­tional char­ac­ters Anne Shirley and Diana Barry, who were dressed in their pe­riod cos­tumes as they par­tic­i­pated in var­i­ous ac­tiv­i­ties through­out the day.

Vis­i­tors were able to take part in a story time, a “My Na­tional His­toric Site” arts and crafts ac­tiv­ity, guided talks through the site and a games and race event that fin­ished off with the freshly churned ice cream.

In ad­di­tion to help­ing make the ice cream, the MacNevin fam­ily went for guided tour and a walk on the na­ture trail.

Adelee said she found the event en­gag­ing for the kids.

“For any his­toric site, the more in­ter­ac­tive that they can make it I think the bet­ter.”

“I think (Parks Canada) is do­ing a re­ally great job of mak­ing things en­gag­ing, in­ter­ac­tive and a re­ally great learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.”

Bar­bie MacKay Larkin, her hus­band Shaun Larkin, daugh­ter Shealyn, 6, of Albany and niece Pene­lope Lin­coln, 4, of Jack­sonville, Fla., spent the morn­ing at Shin­ing Wa­ters Fun Park be­fore head­ing over to Green Gables in the af­ter­noon.

“A lot has changed, ac­tu­ally, since the last time I was here,” said Bar­bie.

Af­ter do­ing a tour of the house, they saw Anne and Diana walk­ing down a dirt path and de­cided to fol­low them.

“It was per­fect tim­ing,” said Bar­bie, since it led them to take part in the games, race and ice cream mak­ing part of the day.

This was the first time that Shealyn and Pene­lope have been to the site, and they had a won­der­ful time play­ing out­side and in­ter­act­ing with the pe­riod char­ac­ters.

The Fer­nan­des fam­ily — par­ents Shalini and Alex, and daugh­ters Alyssa, 11, and Sari­aya, 4 — of Mis­sis­sauga, Ont., was on P.E.I. for the first time and hap­pened to stum­ble upon the cel­e­bra­tions. Although they in­tended to visit the site Satur­day, they had no idea that so many kid-friendly ac­tiv­i­ties would be go­ing on through­out the af­ter­noon.

“This was spe­cial,” said Shalini. “I’m re­ally happy we stum­bled upon this.”

Shalini read “Anne of Green Gables” as a young woman and was in awe as she walked around the grounds that in­spired Lucy Maud Mont­gomery to write the book.

“It’s just ab­so­lutely phe­nom­e­nal. I don’t have words to de­scribe it.”

“It’s beau­ti­ful,” adds Alyssa. “It’s re­ally nice to see the char­ac­ters and how they just stay in char­ac­ter.”

MAU­REEN COUL­TER/THE GUARDIAN

Do­minique LeBlanc, left, as Anne Shirley, and Emily Proude, as Diana Barry, pose for a photo with Elena MacNevin, 5, and Caleb MacNevin, 3, at the 100th an­niver­sary of Canada’s na­tional his­toric sites at Green Gables Her­itage Place in Cavendish on Satur­day.

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