Dalvay-by-the-Sea Hotel is a National Historic Site of Canada located on the north shore of Prince Edward Island at the eastern end of Prince Edward Island National Park. It is a popular attraction for visitors to the province and has been featured in the Anne of Green Gables movies.
In 1895, wealthy American industrialist Alexander Macdonald
commissioned the house to be built as a summer home. While on vacation on Prince Edward Island
, Mr. and Mrs. MacDonald became so enamored of the area he contracted George Longworth to act as his agent
, buying 120 acres on the north shore. The house was completed in 1896, and he named it Dalvay By The Sea after his boyhood home in Scotland
costs ran close to $50,000. The lower half of the house is built with Island Sandstone
in its natural form. The huge fireplaces
were also made with the sandstone
. The furnishings
were purchased from all over the world during family travels in England
, and Egypt
. Some pieces were purchased in Charlottetown
as well. Water and power was supplied by a series of windmills
The MacDonalds kept a number of servants
, including grooms
to look after the many horses
owned by the family. It cost about $10,000 a year to operate the place. The family entertained frequently over the summer
, and at the end of every summer gave a dance
for the locals. It would be a lavish party, with a hired musicians
The MacDonalds enjoyed the house for over a decade. In 1909, Alexander was not in good health. At the end of that summer, he stood at Long Pond gazing at his beloved house before quietly saying, "Good-bye Dalvay". He never returned, passing away in Long Beach, California
in 1910. The property was left to MacDonald's granddaughters. Since they were underage at the time, it was managed by their father, Edmund Stallo. Due to some bad investments
, the $15 million dollar fortune dwindled to nothing, and the estate
had to be sold.
The house had been looked after by William Hughes since the death of Alexander. When he contacted the family to ask what should be done with the place, they told him he could have it for the back taxes
. Hughes bought the house and furnishings for $486.57. He had no interest in keeping it, so sold it to William O'Leary of Montreal
. The O'Leary's took most of the furniture
out of the house. Eventually it was sold to Captain Edward Dicks
. He renovated
the house, thinking to turn it into a hotel
. He ran out of money, and lost the house to George DeBlois
In 1938, DeBlois sold the house and land to the federal government.
Dalvay by the Sea has been operated as a leased private concession
from Parks Canada
since then. There are 26 guest rooms, furnished in period antiques
. There are private baths in each room. The hotel currently operates from June through October.
In 1995, major expansion began. Eight 3-bedroom cottages
were built on the site, a full service laundry
, and the dining room was enlarged.