Annual Meetings

Minutes of the 1992 Meeting (16 Aug)
Proposing a Historical Society

Cranberry Island Historical Society?

A first meeting of Great Cranberry residents interested in developing and publishing a History of Gt. Cranberry Island was called by Susan Ward at her house, Sunday, August 16, 1992, at 5 pm. complete with delicious nips and nibbles, for which all hands were grateful.


Susan Ward opened the meeting with descriptions of the various historical writings* undertaken by the Islesford Historical Society, incorporated in 1990, which include:

  1. Genealogy of Islesford residents
  2. Marine History of Islesford - The Hadlock Fleet
  3. Role of the Islesford Grange
  4. Summer Colony
  5. Steamboats
  6. School Teachers
  7. Military Men
  8. School History: Where did graduates go?
  9. etc.

Marion Spurling is currently writing on Islesford houses, and Hugh Dwelley Senior is working on a "major opus": The History of Islesford.  The effort is being coordinated by the Islesford Museum which is an already established repository for archival material.

It was the immediate consensus of the meeting that Gt. Cranberry should pursue its own history as soon as possible, before memories of earlier days are lost.

Oral History Taping, with possibly a framework of questions, should start at once (J. Roberts).

The Role of the College of the Atlantic was discussed.  Richard Borden felt C.O.A. could provide oral history taping, reporting that C.O.A. had video capabilities as well.  President Louis Rabineau is an expert at oral history and the College's History Dept. could provide professional staffing and essential supervision of student taping (12 week projects.)

Concern was expressed about Islesford's "piecemeal approach", Owen Roberts reccommending tht Gt. Cranberry's approach be a 300 year perspective.  Writing our history on a chronological framework, defining the evolution of the Island, would be the preferable approach (D. Frank).  Orchestrating the resources and pursuing complete oral histories of all key people now is essential, it was agreed, so history currently available will not be lost.

Tud Bunker, Ruth Stanley, and Charlie Rice were suggested as among the oldest residents of the Island, and probably eager to cooperate.

It was agreed that Cranberry was fortunate to have C.O.A. as a resource for its history development (D. Frank).  R. Borden felt C.O.A. could undertake taping this September.

Role of the Cranberry Island School
Could the School, under the supervision of its teacher, Ellen Young, contribute some basic information through pupil projects?  Ellen is eager to cooperate and involve the pupil population in the project.

Role of the Cranberry Island Library

  1. The Library could be used as an umbrella for gifts designated for the history development as a result of its tax-deductible status. (B. Stainton & Ev Storey)
  2. The Library should be a partner, cooperting rather than competing
  3. The Library could provide interim archival space, perhaps, until future needs assessed

Barbara Stainton will present our thinking at the upcoming Library Committee meeting 8/24, and anticipates total cooperation.

The need to cooperate with all other groups on Cranberry Island's five islands is clear (G. Allen), especially Islesford, although Gt. Cranberry Island's history is unique.  Ted Spurling also should be involved.  Historians love to help each other (D. Frank), especially as multiple voices, beyond author and editor, are essential, and common goals frequent.

Gt. Cranberry Island Historical Society interim immediate structure proposed: VOTED: an ad hoc Committee with David Stainton and Eliza Eager as Director and Co-Director respectively, to "spearhead the project."

Next Meeting: R. Borden suggested lunch Sat. Sept. 12 or 19 with Deborah Goldman, photographer, Elisha Maltz, historian, and Martin Kopell, video documenter, to be held at Cranberry.  Susan Ward, David Stainton, and Eliza Eager will follow up.

Respectfully submitted
S.S. Lyman
Sec. pro tem

* F.Y.I.  Some of these Islesford historical pieces are currently available at The Whale's Rib.