Great Cranberry Island Historical Society
Museum Memos
Volume 0 February 2001



Our Museum opening in August 2000 was a great success. Many islanders attended and the press gave us good coverage.

We hired Martha Bunker to keep the museum open with regular hours throughout August. Charlene Allen opened the museum in September and early October with reduced hours.

Many visitors came to visit the museum. Their comments were very favorable, and some even joined as members.


Presently Bruce Komusin and Wini Smart are working on the remaining four panels: European Discovery, Artists and Writers, Profiles & Personalities, and God's Pocket. We need more photos and histories of any of these persons and subjects.

A four-sided wooden display rack was constructed last fall to replace the temporary screens we had last summer.  This will give us room for two new panels plus alcoves for furniture displays.

Each year we plan to change the displays of artifacts and exhibits. One member has wonderfully stylish clothes from the 1800s. We need dress forms or mannequins to display them properly. Are there any hiding in your attic? Please call us.


schoolhouse museumWe've set up a worktable in the entry hall to entertain and educate small children. We'll have crayons and original Cranberry Island Coloring Books and puzzles. More is planned.


See the latest news, and take a virtual tour of the Museum at our new address:



© Copyright 2001 Susan Michalski

Watercolor sketch
by Susan Michalski

"Great Cranberry Island, Maine
An Artist's Sketchbook, 1998"

Susan Donald Michalski has been visiting the island for years, keeping a sketch diary with charming watercolor vignettes of island life, buildings, and scenes. She has given us permission to publish a collection of these sketches. Bruce Komusin diligently worked as editor and publisher. The Historical Society purchased a wire binding machine, allowing us to present a very professional product. This 20-page booklet, completely in color, will make a nice souvenir of the island. It will be available this summer at the Whales Rib Gift Shop, or at the Museum, with a discount for Historical Society members.
see more     to order

Tud Bunker

"Riding With Tud"

This is a new publication based on another interview with the late Tud Bunker. Driving the length of the island, Tud remembers the old families who lived in each home, in his own amiable style.
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girls at dock
© Copyright 2001 Wini Smart

Felt tip pen sketch
by Wini Smart

"If it Were Yesterday...
A Historic Coloring Book
of Great Cranberry Island"

A new Island classic is born! Wini Smart's charming narrated coloring book celebrates the simple joys of a child's vacation on Great Cranberry Island, both in the early 1900s and today. If it were yesterday, we'd arrive on the J.T. Morse, meet old pals at the dock, spend a day out cod fishing, hike to see the wild birds and the shipwreck, and talk with Passamaquoddy John Snow about how, in olden days, his people lived on the island.
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Looking to the future, we plan to install a walk-up screen and control buttons, like an ATM machine, so visitors can view and hear our photos, slides, movies, and audio tapes. This will appeal to the younger generation, and is really a practical necessity, since our limited wall space can't hold all the old photos and other materials already in our collection -- and it grows every season.

For example, last summer Dot Towns lent us John's slides from a popular slide show presented over ten years ago. This summer we'll scan them and prepare a computerized slide show, complete with narration. An audiovisual kiosk is the only way to effectively display this material.


Your Society has now joined two other Historical Societies: the Maine Archives and Museums, and the Island Association of Museums and Historical Societies. A short story on our new museum has been included in the MAM quarterly magazine.

We thought these memberships would give us added publicity and help us learn the professional method of running a museum.

Our Vice President, Ruth Westphal, has attended meetings of the Island Association, which is comprised of Historical Societies on Mt. Desert Island. They will include us in their brochure, given out to many Mt. Desert visitors.


In September 2000, Lanie Witt, a special feature newscaster from Bangor's Channel 5 was on the Island with her cameraman to film the museum and other locations. It aired over several nights in November and again in December, beginning with an interview with Dick Beal and Ada Rice riding over on the Mail Boat, then a few words from the captain and photos of passengers and freight unloading at the Cranberry dock.

After a ride down the road with Polly Bunker, a short segment showed the Museum with Wini Smart and Bruce Komusin. Ruth Westphal then gave a quick tour of the Library. Later there was another interview with Polly and Charlene Allen on the beach, featuring the old tractor that had been left by their brother, Edgar Bunker, just before he went into the Korean War. Some of the museum's photos of Edgar Bunker were used on the show.


Here's a list of some items we could really use in 2001:

  1. An IBM-type personal computer, Pentium 200 MHz is ok.
  2. Clothes forms or display mannequins.
  3. Old home movies of the Cranberry Isles.
  4. As always, old photos, diaries, letters, and postcards of the islands.
  5. Books or photos about Carrie Richardson.
  6. Photos of "Peter" Richardson.
  7. Antique or old Quilts.
  8. Island antiques, clothing from your mother or grandmother.