A model of the Baker Island lighthouse is part of a current exhibit about life on the Cranberry Isles at the Islesford Historical Museum. ISLANDER PHOTO BY DICK BROOM

Exhibit explores island life

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.’”




Dick Broom

Dick Broom

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Dick Broom covers the towns of Mount Desert and Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert Island High School and the school system board and superintendent's office. He enjoys hiking with his golden retriever and finding new places for her to swim. [email protected]
Dick Broom

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