Hon. Marion Reid, honorary co-chair of the L.M. Montgomery Land Trust announces on behalf of the board of directors that the Land Trust has acquired a significant parcel of land as part of the L.M. Montgomery Seashore in French River. Locally referred to as the Ash Property, or from earlier generations “Sims Farm”, this 135 acres is bordered by New London Bay, the Cape Road and the Gulf of St Lawrence.
“My co-chair, Bill Andrew, and I and the L.M. Montgomery Land Trust board are so very pleased to secure this magnificent property,” says Marion Reid. “We have already taken the necessary steps to ensure that it will forever remain in agricultural use. We can tell everyone that it exists the way it was when Maud Montgomery herself frequently walked the fields, beach and sandstone shore.”
When complete, The L.M. Montgomery Seashore, in tribute to one of the world’s most beloved authors, will be over 400 acres of spectacular land that now exist in numerous privately held parcels. Added to other properties already preserved, this latest acquisition has brought the Land Trust near the halfway mark in its goal. The Land Trust has taken the necessary steps to ensure that the arable land on the Ash property will forever be kept for agricultural use.
“The L.M. Montgomery Land Trust, a registered charity, now seeks more financial donations to continue our vital work,” adds Marion Reid. “Much of the funding required to secure the remaining properties will have to come from private donors. This project should be important to all full-time, seasonal and former Islanders.”
The Ash property consists of 135 acres made up of farmland and wood lot. This property’s incredible stretch of shore frontage is second-to-none on PEI and indeed anywhere. It is located at the west side of the entrance to New London Bay and has a beautiful sandy beach as well as magnificent red cliffs.
Within the boundaries of the property is the Sims Pioneer Field Cemetery, established in 1816 and in use until 1848 when French River was called Elizabethtown, named for the immigrant ship the Elizabeth” that carried the early settlers. Some of those who came to PEI on the Elizabeth are among those buried there. A few of the graves are marked with the names of ancestors to families who still live in the nearby communities. Many others are unmarked graves.
In line with the L.M. Montgomery Land Trust mandate to keep the land in agricultural use, 95 acres of the Ash Property are currently under long-term lease to local farmers for cultivation.
Statement in the Prince Edward Island Legislative Assembly
May 6, 2010 – Hon. Robert Vessey, Minister of Tourism and Culture
I rise today…
The L.M. Montgomery Land Trust is a volunteer, non-profit organization working to preserve over 400 acres in French River and what is indisputably among the most beautiful of PEI’s seascapes. Known as the L.M. Montgomery Seashore, in tribute to one of the world’s most beloved authors, most people will know this land to see it and the iconic Cape Tryon lighthouse.
Preserving this land exclusively for agricultural purposes is important not only because of its beauty and peacefulness, but because L.M. Montgomery knew the fields, shores and beaches well, and she wrote eloquently and passionately about how special it was.
The L.M. Montgomery Land Trust has made some wonderful progress recently, including receiving a significant contribution from the Estate of Marc Gallant. Today the Land Trust is announcing the acquisition of the crown jewel of the L.M. Montgomery Seashore – 135 acres of fields and woodlots at the mouth of New London Bay know as the Ash Property, or in earlier generations, the Sims Farm. The Province of PEI congratulates the Land Trust on this important acquisition to the benefit of all Islanders and visitors.
The Ash Property brings the Land Trust to the half-way mark in it efforts to keep this land in agricultural use and free from development forever.
With us in the gallery today representing the L.M. Montgomery Land Trust are Peter Rukavina, President of the L.M. Montgomery Land Trust Board, and George Campbell, Treasurer.
Congratulations to the L.M. Montgomery Land Trust and keep up the great work you are doing.