ISLESFORD — More than 30 residents of the Cranberry Isles, along with representatives of Acadia National Park (ANP) and Friends of Acadia (FOA), attended the presentation of the 2016 William Otis Sawtelle Award and the 2016 Acadia National Park Partner Award to the Friends of the Islesford Historical Museum.
The awards recognize the collaborative partnerships and private philanthropy that resulted in three exhibits at the museum: “Boats & Buoys: Lobstering on Little Cranberry Island,” “The Town of Cranberry Isles” and the redesign of “Memories of a Maine Island.”
“Boats & Buoys,” a community-curated exhibit celebrating the past and present of lobster fishermen and women on the island, opened in 2015, will run through 2017 and is the Friends of the Islesford Historical Museum’s contribution to the Acadia Centennial Celebration.
The popularity of the exhibits has reinvigorated the National Park Service’s commitment to the museum building, which needs upgrades for the safe storage and exhibition of more historical objects.
The 2016 Acadia National Park Partner award was given jointly to the Friends of the Museum and to the Acadia Centennial Task Force, for outstanding partnership efforts for 2016.
Mike Madell, park deputy superintendent, Lynne Dominy, park chief of interpretation, and David MacDonald, FOA president, made the presentation. The common theme in their remarks was how the park service and the Islesford community, led by the Friends of the Islesford Historical Museum, have come together to “bring new life” into the museum. MacDonald said, “the Boats & Buoys exhibit is a great example of celebrating the past and inspiring the future of Acadia,” referring to the official tagline of the Acadia Centennial celebration.
The Friends of the Islesford Historical Museum formed in 2014 to work with Acadia National Park to rehabilitate and maintain the museum, a landmark building. The Friends of the Islesford Historical Museum’s goal is to rekindle interest in this historic structure among year-round and summer residents of the town of Cranberry Isles.
“The museum has come alive again,” a resident said. “It reflects what this island is all about.” Exhibit project manager Rosamond Rea said, “none of this would be possible without the generosity, support and participation of the Cranberry Isles communities.”
The William Otis Sawtelle Award was established by Friends of Acadia and Acadia National Park in 1986 to recognize and honor Cranberry Isles residents who have been dedicated to preserving the history of Islesford and the Cranberry Islands.