About The Museum Building


The Garden of the Gulf Museum in Montague is home to many treasures. The building is one of the most impressive buildings on PEI, a brick and sandstone Post Office and Customs House completed in 1888.

In 1884, the federal government realized a more formal building was needed in Montague. Ottawa’s Dominion architect, Thomas Fuller (1823-1898) designed this truly elegant building. During his tenure as chief architect, Fuller saw 74 new post offices constructed across Canada. Montague, Summerside and Charlottetown had new post offices built in the 1880s.

Charlottetown architects William Critchlow Harris and David Stirling were the overseers for construction and L.A. Wilmot of New Brunswick was the contractor. The first floor housed the Post Office, the second floor had the Customs House, and the third floor was an apartment for the caretaker.

The land was acquired from the estate of Martin Lambert and sandstone was quarried from the banks of the Montague River for the foundation and trim work. Bricks were fired in Montague by Robert Stewart out of Island clay.

A letter from David Stirling to architect, Thomas Fuller about the Montague site in 1884:
“It is one of the finest sites for a Public Building, particularly a Customs House and Post Office, that could be found anywhere. It is on high ground…and has a fine view of the river and wharves as also the whole of the north side of the Village.”


The old Post Office/Garden of the Gulf Museum is a beautiful Romanesque Revival building complete with a slate roof.
Romanesque details are the recessed, round arched windows, the arched double entrances and rusticated sandstone trim. There are two ornamental carvings set in arched frames above the entrances. One carving depicts Queen Victoria about 1888 and the other is the Prince Edward Island Coat of Arms, a large oak sheltering three smaller oaks. This represents the protection of Great Britain over our three Island counties, Kings, Queens and Prince.

The total cost of this 1888 Post Office was $6,315.47, a substantial sum for the time. The official opening was May 14, 1888, and the proud Postmaster was Peter Gordon.


The building served as a Post Office/Customs Office until 1954. At that time, the Junior Board of Trade purchased the building from the Federal Government for one dollar and began its transformation into Prince Edward Island’s very first Museum.

The call went out across the Island for people to donate artifacts for this new museum and they sure did!  The Garden of the Gulf Museum was officially opened in 1958 by Governor General Vincent Massey.


Over the years our collection has grown significantly. We have over 5,000 artifacts with an archives and storage facility that is state of the art.

We collect photographs, objects and documents of all kinds that interpret Montague, the Three Rivers area meaning Montague, Cardigan and Georgetown, as well as Murray Harbour, Murrary River, Belfast, Wood Islands, etc.

Our mandate is to preserve archival materials and artifacts that interpret the history and culture of Prince Edward Island and especially this area.


Looking for a rainy day activity?

Check out our latest exhibit.