A new family has purchased the home of the island’s late Wini Smart. The famed painter passed away in the fall after 85 good years, but her home and studio on Great Cranberry had been on the market for quite some time. Three buildings sat unassumingly along the shore by the docks and Cranberry General Store.
The buyers will construct new buildings on the property, but with respect for the buildings’ history, they have donated them to the historical society. Unfortunately, only two of the three buildings feasibly could be moved, and the third, once a restaurant run by Ada and Leona Bunker and fondly remembered by islanders, will be lost. Land donated by the late Bruce Komusin has been cleared to make space for the two smaller buildings next the Cranberry House and Cafe. Time will tell what’s in store for the buildings that have been moved and the new structures taking their place.
Like a switch that’s been flipped, the islands are moving into the hustling season of spring. Sea Queen is filling up with more than the winter workmen as summer residents come out to open their houses and clean up the winter’s fallen trees. Garden beds are slowly being uncovered, and lilies are eagerly shooting out from their long slumber, green shoots hoping to grow strong before deer come nibbling after easy garden salads.
More evidence of spring is the Massachusetts/Maine Patriots’ Day, the anniversary of Paul Revere’s ride from “the eighteenth of April in seventy-five,” which means April break for Maine schools and the Boston Marathon.
And one of the biggest signs of spring is the appearance of messages about summer activity: Islesford Boatworks, help at the restaurant, requests for rentals and calendar items. Tony and Sarah Archino — and Hank and Sadie — and Karen and Hugh Smallwood expect to be back the end of April or early May.
Longfellow School students rode the mail boat to the mainland every day this week for Arts Week at Mount Desert Elementary School. Students in grades six and above were able to participate in the program, but the entire school attended the final exhibition of the artwork. Projects included film, photography, felting, basket-making, pyrography, bird carving and more, with artists from within the MDI community volunteering their time to work with the kids each day. A big thanks goes to Carol Shutt for organizing the event and to the visiting artists that made space for kids to expand their creativity. The Cranberry students had so much fun.
Islesford extended-summer resident Merritt F. “Shorty” Williams Jr. died on March 30 at his home in Lake Helen, Fla. We send our sympathy to his wife, Barbara “Bobby” Williams.
MDI High School won the show choir state competition. Patrick Mocarsky was in the MDI production, which was “Fire Prince and Ice Maiden.” His mother, Katya, and sister, April, went to Millinocket for two nights so they could see the middle schools compete on Friday, followed by the high schools on Saturday.
Ashley Bryan went to the College of the Atlantic for a screening of the documentary film “I Know a Man … Ashley Bryan.” The film was followed by a question-and-answer session with the director Richard Kane and Ashley. Ashley enjoyed the evening and was glad it had been open to all, not restricted to the COA community.
Rick Alley placed third in the Maine duck stamp competition held in Augusta on March 30. This year’s painting depicts a northern pintail. This year saw 18 submissions. Well done, Rick.
Margaret Snell arranged a talk on media literacy at the Maine Seacoast Mission. Tara Young presented the material. Cindy Thomas said she doesn’t think she’ll look at ads the same way again. Thanks to the mission for all they do for the islands.
Winter is finally on its way out, though not without yet another threat of boat-cancelling weather. Here’s hoping it stays calm. The ice on MDI’s Hadlock Pond had decreased through the first part of last week. Friday the 13th was such a warm day that a broad area melted between the 9 a.m. arrival of the mail boat and the 3:30 p.m. departure. Going, going, gone before this news is sent in. Sunday saw temperatures in the low 30s, but the following few days were to be in the 40s. Heat wave’s a-comin’!
On Islesford, several of the overgrown areas in yards have been burned clear. While Paul Fernald cleared the side area of Ann Fernald’s yard, she said to a friend that clearings used to be done each year and that the fire truck was on hand to help; that help is still available — at the same time as Paul’s work, Bruce Fernald, Rick Alley, David Thomas, Richard Howling and several others had the fire truck on Bunker Cove Road and used its hose to spray water over a sizable area. Some of the space of the Alley yard next to the Islesford Congregational church also has been burned.
Great Cranberry Island Library now has a printer and laptop available in the library hallway that connects to the school. This means islanders can access the internet and printer anytime, not just during library hours. Thanks to our librarian, Ingrid Gaither, for making this possible.
Cindy Thomas has 16 new children’s books at the Islesford Library. Eight of them are courtesy of the Rosamund Lane Lord Fund, thanks to Ashley Bryan.
Happy birthday to Amanda Ravenhill on April 19 and Marci Lief on April 20. David Axelrod has a big one on April 23. Steve Philbrook will blow out candles on April 24. Oliver Blank and Johnny Myers will celebrate on April 25. Happy birthday to all!