Author: Macphail Homestead

An Leabhar Liath or The Light Blue Book

500 Years of Gaelic love and transgressive verse‘.

We are delighted to welcome Iain MacPherson back to the Macphail Homestead! A lecturer in Irish and Celtic Studies at the University of Ulster and a Scottish Gaelic speaker with strong roots in Prince Edward Island.

Iain recently co-edited “The Light Blue Book” subtitled  ‘500 Years of Gaelic love and transgressive verse‘.  The book ‘offers poems that are erotic, rude, seditious and transgressive; that deal with love, sex, the body, politics and violent passion; and that are by turns humorous, disturbing, shocking and enlightening.’

Iain is an entertaining speaker and the topic promises to be interesting! The poems are in Gaelic but Iain will translate and explain so a knowledge of the Gaelic language is not necessary but will add to your enjoyment if you are.

Our veranda cafe will be open for dinner preceding the meal. Please make reservations for both.




Old Fashioned Ladies Tea Party

We’re smoothing off our dresses and dusting off our hats for our first ever inter-generational ladies tea party! We’re hoping for a collection of little ladies, mothers, grandmothers, sisters, and friends to join us for tea and light refreshments and enjoy one another’s company.

We’re hosting this event as part of the Canada 150 initiative that asked us to choose five objects at the homestead that we think have a special significance that has stood the test of time. This got us thinking: what makes an object have lasting value? Through asking this question we became aware of a sister question: what objects are important, but only for a certain time?

We’re hoping, with the multigenerational aspect of this tea party, to have participants bring objects they use daily or have used daily, that they think ladies much older (or much younger) may not be able to properly use or even recognize.

There is a beauty we often forget to stop and identify in the changing of times, but my grandmother doesn’t know how to use my smart phone, and I think it would be funny to watch her try, and I can’t imagine needing my sister to come along on long trips like she did so they could each hold one of my grandma’s twin baby boys while her husband drove the car (I can’t imagine a day before seatbelts, never mind car-seats) 🙂

So please, join us on Thursday, July 27, @ 2:30 pm, bring a dear lady of any age and an object that you think is specific to your time! The event is free, but we ask that you RSVP so we have an idea of numbers – call at 902-651-2789, or email at


Island-history Sunday-brunch Series

 Sunday, July 16th: Speaker Dr David Keenlyside – “The Island’s First Peoples”. David is an archaeologist and has made an extensive study of artefacts belonging to the Aboriginal People of Prince Edward Island. His talk will cover an astounding 12 000 years of history, focussing on technologies developed by the First People, as they adapted to the changes in landscape and ecosystems, in the Maritimes.

Sunday, July 30th: Dr Silé Post, “Macphail’s Homesteading Lifestyle: A Model for Modern Island Living”. Silé will talk about the local, rural, homesteading lifestyle, advocated throughout Macphail’s published works as a vision for Island living today. A tour of the Homestead’s Heritage/Heirloom Gardens will follow the presentation. Silé planned and helped plant the Homestead gardens and has used them to demonstrate some interesting ideas to help gardeners use nature to their advantage instead of being reliant on chemicals and fertilisers.

 Sunday, August 13th: Deirdre Kessler, “Sir Andrew Macphail and L.M. Montgomery: The Emotional Textures of the Lives of Two Distinguished Islanders,” Deirdre, our Island’s current Poet Laureate will provide glimpses into the lives, poetry and the writings of Macphail and Montgomery. Both authors were of Scottish descent, and many parallels can be drawn from their upbringing, Montgomery by her strict Presbyterian grandparents, Alexander and Lucy Woolner Macneill and Macphail by his schoolmaster father William and his mother Catherine Moore Smith McPhail.

Sunday, August 27th: Dr Ryan O’Connor will present, “The 1971 National Farmers Union Highway Demonstration.” 
On August 12, 1971, hundreds of PEI farmers boarded their tractors and proceeded to bring traffic to a halt on the province’s major roadways. Held during the peak of the tourism season, the demonstration continued for ten days. This talk examines the highway demonstration’s inspiration, context and consequences. Ryan’s PhD is in Canadian history, with expertise in the history of environmental activism in Canada and the United States.

We will start with a nutritious and delicious brunch (a  loaded Island Breakfast with ham and bacon from Taylor’s meats, home-made baked beans, eggs etc. We can accommodate dietary restrictions.) Serving will begin at 11 am. Once you have dined, the talk will commence. The meal will be served in the room that once hosted Steven Leacock, Earl Grey, Lucy Maud Montgomery and John McCrea at the same time, as guests of Sir Andrew Macphail.

The cost is $25.00 ($20 for members and residents of Orwell and Kings County).
Please call the Macphail Homestead at 902-651-2789 to make your reservation.