Great Cranberry Island Historical Society board members celebrate some good news by raising the buoy on their campaign progress sign. From left, Pixie Lauer, Beverly Sanborn, Phil Whitney, Barbara Meyers, Sharon Morrell (and Cosmo), Ingrid Gaither and Chris Johnston. PHOTO COURTESY OF GCI HISTORICAL SOCIETY

Cranberry House gets big boost

CRANBERRY ISLES — Great Cranberry Island Historical Society’s fundraising efforts received a boost this month when it received a grant of $10,000 from the Davis Family Foundation and a donation of $50,000 from an anonymous donor. Both contributions were made to the Cranberry House 10th Anniversary Campaign and are earmarked for the archives room in an expansion that was built earlier this year.

A primary attraction of Cranberry House is the Preble Marr Historical Museum, which is free and open daily from Memorial Day through Columbus Day. It features exhibits about island life and Great Cranberry Island’s maritime and cultural history, which dates back 260 years.

Not everything that has been donated to the museum can be displayed at once. More than 2,000 artifacts still require the archivist’s attention to determine next steps for storage, preservation, digitization, and exhibition.

Housing these artifacts in a properly equipped facility is a priority for the historical society.

A 2017 assessment of the Cranberry House archives by Friends of Island History stressed that its basement storage environment was humid, had fluctuating temperatures and was susceptible to mold.

The assessment also stated that the historical society had “sufficient space to store current holdings, but will soon be beyond capacity at current collecting rates.”

“We needed to address those issues immediately,” said Cranberry House Archivist Anne Grulich. “These funds came at just the right time for us. It would be great to have the interior of the new archives room completed this winter so we can move our collections this spring.”

The archives room, located on the ground floor of the expansion, will feature temperature and humidity control, a sprinkler system, recessed lighting, storage units, shelving for oversized items like nautical maps, a scanner and a work area for Grulich.

The floors, walls and ceilings will be insulated to minimize climate fluctuation. Additional funds are needed to complete all of these improvements. Those who wish to contribute to the campaign may do so online at

Contact 244 5933.

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