Saturday, 11 July 2015

The Past and Present of Dalvay by the Sea

One of the especially unique qualities of Dalvay by the Sea is it's history and presence in PEI's lifespan. From the historic eras of elegance to present time, Dalvay's imprint in the presence of this little Island is outstanding and garnered well deserved respect. Having had it's original state preserved to national historic standards, as a guest you're able to live through the Dalvay's life in a style that nearly suspends it in time from the day its' doors first welcomed the MacDonald family in the early 1900s.

Having come just years before and yet in the previous century, Alexander MacDonald and his family fell in love with Prince Edward Island and as was fashionable at the time, decided to build Summer getaway for themselves. The Maritimes were already attracting attention of the wealthy and famous but PEI had yet to host a vacation home as elaborate as Dalvay. This architecturally rich Queen Anne revival style home was the MacDonald family's own personal retreat; built using local materials, it's a semblance of creativity and and the time-tested quality of the hands that built it. You can still see and touch the Island sandstone that was used to build up the exterior walls and the gleaming rich wood that give's Dalvay such a warm atmosphere.

It's no wonder this home is still beloved, even today. Of course it's not just in reality that Dalvay has been revered; for Anne of Green Gables and L.M. Montgomery's followers, this is the infamous White Sands Hotel. Having been featured and used for filming in both of Kevin Sullivan's adaptations of Anne of Green Gables and The Story Girl, known to watchers as Road to Avonlea, there were scenes filmed right on site. There is actually two albums in the Dalvay's Lobby filled with photographs of the filming where you can see the stars in their costume and even get in front of the camera, rather than behind it, to see how things were set up. Waking the imagination as it does, it's no wonder why Dalvay has inspired artists as well as travelers.

And no ordinary travelers either; the Dalvay has had some very regal visitors as well. Beginning with Alexander MacDonald's own Granddaughter's Laura and Helena who went on to marry Princes, they were the very first Princesses of Dalvay. Jump forward another century to when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Princess Kate visited the Dalvay. The two, dining in the famous restaurant and partaking in some local artistic flavors enjoyed time at the Dalvay and there is another album immortalizing too. this event in the Dalvay's Lobby.

Yes, it's impossible to imagine a Prince Edward Island without Dalvay by the Sea and truly it is a piece of the Province's history; very luckily a part that visitors can partake in to the fullest. Within the National Park, you can share the same beaches that doubtlessly the MacDonald's and their esteemed guests frequented, you can play croquet on the lawn where Road to Avonlea was filmed, stroll down the same flower decorated paths as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and make your own history here at the Dalvay.

One gable into the past and another in the future, Dalvay by the Sea is a retreat that will continue to live on through it's outstanding presence and the memories of all those who make it what it is today.

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