Cavendish (2006 pop.: 272)
is a Canadian
unincorporated rural area in the township of Lot
23, Queens County, Prince Edward Island.
Its primary industries are tourism and
northwest of North Rustico and east of Stanley Bridge in the
central part of the province on the north shore, fronting the
Gulf of St.
Lacking a harbour, Cavendish was primarily a small farming
community throughout the 19th and first half of the 20th
Cavendish traces its name to Field Marshal Lord Frederick Cavendish
of the 34th Regiment of Foot
. It was likely given by local resident William Winter, an
officer, who named the
community in honour of his patron.
Lucy Maud Montgomery was raised
in nearby New London during the late Victorian
era, with Cavendish being the home of her maternal
grandparents, who had a house and small farm immediately east of
the Cavendish United Presbyterian Cemetery at the intersection of
the Cavendish Road and Cawnpore Lane. Montgomery would also
frequently visit her cousins' the MacNeill family, who owned a farm
Gables located west of the intersection.
She would later find work in the community with the federal
Post Office Department
as a postmaster
at the Cavendish Post Office.
Montgomery's experiences in the community formed a strong
impression on her and she would later include much of her
experiences in this part of rural Prince Edward Island at the turn
of the 20th century in the literary blockbuster Anne of Green Gables
Prior to Montgomery's writings, Cavendish's primary claim to fame
came on July 22, 1883 when the 3-masted world-record holding
clipper ship Marco Polo
grounded and broke apart
on Cavendish Beach.
Following the critical acclaim of Montgomery's writing, as well as
coincident with the increase in vehicle-based tourism throughout
North America during the first half of the century, Cavendish began
to evolve into primarily a resort community.
the Prince Edward Island National
Park was established along 60 kilometres of the
province's Gulf of St.
Lawrence shoreline - part of the park expropriation also
included the MacNeill family's Green Gables farm.
national park also boasted many of Prince Edward Island's best
beaches, of which Cavendish Beach
was one of the most popular. To increase the tourist draw to the
area, the national park also developed an 18-hole golf course and
opened the Green Gables
farmhouse for tours. The site of
Montgomery's childhood home is also a popular tourist
Subsequent development between the 1950s-1990s saw motels,
campgrounds, amusement parks and other attractions, shopping
facilities, and bars and restaurants built. During any given week
in July and August, the community's population expands as of tens
of thousands of tourists flock to the national park and local
In 1990 Cavendish became part of the Resort Municipality of Stanley
Bridge-Hope River-Bayview-Cavendish-North Rustico.