Prince Edward County’s Newspaper of Record
June 20, 2024
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Persons of Interest: Libby Crombie

At home on the Glenora Road, and at the centre of the community
<p>Elizabeth Crombie (Photo: Alan Gratias)</p>
Elizabeth Crombie (Photo: Alan Gratias)

We know her signature look from the front page of the Picton Gazette — her weekly Elizabeth Crombie / Royal LePage ad. The elegant, swept-back white hair, the smiling kind face with bright red lipstick. Elizabeth (better known as Libby) Crombie is the Granny we want to invite for tea. 

She is dedicated to serving her community, which includes sponsoring County Stage, The Regent Theatre, Art in the County and the Studio Tour.  She actively raises funds for the Glenwood Cemetery with her wreath and basket campaigns and organises the Annual Christmas House Tour. For this and more, Libby has been recognized with kudos and awards “as a vital benefactor of the arts and advocate on behalf of heritage.”

But it wasn’t always so. Libby has worked hard to be the real estate maven she is, with several trip lines along the way.

She first bought in the County in 1971, the old Dainard farm in the Milford area, because her husband David had long roots here. His grandfather was born in Picton, and his great-grandfather had been manager of the Bank of Montreal on Main Street.


If residents are sometimes classified as “old” or “new,”  after twenty-five-plus years, Libby is what  might be called  “old new County.”

When David died, Libby took up teaching as a profession at St. Clements, a prestigious private school in Toronto, where she became Head of the Junior School. But when her four children were about to go to college, Libby needed to change course.  She obtained her real-estate license and moved to the County full time in 1999.

She manages her many real estate listings from the Royal LePage office on Picton Main Street. Clients gravitate to her because of her low-key approach to selling. She has a knack for taking care of people. And she is so nice. And patient.

“I wanted to show that a quiet, understated style can be effective in real estate.”

I first met Libby a few years back when she persuaded me to buy the old Chrysler showroom on Main Street in Picton. With indefatigable enthusiasm she outlined the possibilities of the large, open space. Arts on Main has been flourishing in that showroom almost ever since. 

A few days later we were at the Glenwood Cemetery chapel, where she observed of the sloping lawns to the pond, “this would be a wonderful venue for jazz.” Libby has long been a major sponsor of the Jazz Festival, which now features a free performance in Glenwood.

She is dedicated to serving her community in a number of other ways, which includes sponsoring County Stage, The Regent Theatre, Art in the County and the Studio Tour.  She actively raises funds for the Glenwood Cemetery with her wreath and basket campaigns and organises the Annual Christmas House Tour. For this and more, Libby has been recognized with kudos and awards “as a vital benefactor of the arts and advocate on behalf of heritage.”

Her treasured family of four, two sons and two daughters, and eleven grandchildren, have been a great solace to Libby since the death of her long-time partner Don Self two years ago. I have met the eldest son, Brad, a towering figure with the shoulders of a rower, at his summer retreat in North Marysburgh.  Though he and his family live in England, they proudly fly the Waupoos flag for two months every summer. 

Libby’s two daughters, Robyn and Martha, are nearby, and her youngest son, Tighe, is an emergency pediatric physician in Ottawa. His unusual name is Irish — it is Libby’s maiden name. Both as a given name and surname, Tighe has a wealth of Celtic history in its meaning of “handsome” and “poet.”

If residents are sometimes classified as “old” or “new,” after twenty-five-plus
years, Libby is what might be called “old new County,” a category that tends to have a fervent attachment to their new home and a dedication to  strengthening community foundations.

When we look for best examples of how to integrate into a place, Libby Crombie has the advantage of a personality that seeks out friendships and circles. She is stellar at supporting the pillars of her community because she has that rare default attitude that needs to be cloned, “how can I help?

 I visited Libby at her charming converted cottage on the Glenora Road on a spring day bursting with sunshine and the promise of a new season.  The house was filled with light and every room overflowed with the memorabilia of a family’s life. There was a window seat by the water stacked with gifts for the next visit to the grands in Ottawa.

“Why would I ever leave,” she declares from her comfortable seat on a downy sofa.  “I have everything here.”

This text is from the Volume 194 No. 21 edition of The Picton Gazette
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