CRANBERRY ISLES — A new-this-summer exhibit at the Islesford Historical Museum answers some of the questions that visitors often ask year-round residents of the Cranberry Isles. The most common question is, “What do you do in the winter?”
Other FAQs include “What happens in an emergency?” and “Where do kids go to school?”
Through words, photographs and objects – such as mittens made from old wool sweaters at a winter “crafternoon” gathering – the exhibit addresses those questions and more.
First, the exhibit explains that the town got its name from the native berries that once were harvested from a 200-acre marsh on Great Cranberry Island and a smaller one on Islesford (Little Cranberry). A mosquito eradication program in the 1920s destroyed a large portion of those marshes.
The Cranberry Isles exhibit was created by the Friends of the Islesford Historical Museum with support from Acadia National Park and Friends of Acadia.
“We’ve had a lot of really positive feedback from people who’ve come in,” said Ken Beck, the park ranger stationed at the museum this summer. “It’s great that it was done by the local community here because it answers questions from the people who actually know. Having the voice of the local people is very important.”
Exhibit designer Betts Swanton said it also helps orient visitors who might not be sure exactly where the Cranberry Isles are or what their connection is to Mount Desert Island and Acadia.
“This is an attempt to say, ‘You’re here.’”