Great Cranberry Island Historical Society
Museum Memos
Volume 4 February 2004

sketch of building
proposed new museum

(as seen from
the playing field)
Exciting News
Bruce Komusin, long-time treasurer and tireless worker for the museum, has generously donated to the Historical Society two acres of valuable land on Great Cranberry Island for a permanent museum site.  The land is on the west side of the main road, with a 50-foot wide entrance, and adjoins the Parsonage property.  A proposed permanent building could face the playing field and will be convenient to the Community Center and the church, for Community activities.

We have only a temporary lease for the current museum in the schoolhouse, and have to vacate on short notice when there are enough children to reopen the school.  The Board of Trustees felt this could soon be a likely possibility with the event of several births and young married couples now living year round on the island.

We have appointed a building committee to consider the size and use requirements, and to study the feasibility of moving an existing historical building, or building new.  Besides museum exhibits, the proposed building could also include a coffee shop, a cultural center with stage, and a workshop/class area for music, dance, arts, and crafts.

GCI ME Hitty's Home
Hitty's Home
This year the Historical Society kicks off a "Hitty's Home" project by creating a small wooden doll, a web page, and a new booklet entitled Hitty Preble of the Cranberry Isles, Maine.

Many people are familiar with God's Pocket by Rachel Field, but our booklet introduces another of her wonderful novels, Hitty, Her First Hundred Years, which won the Newbery Award in 1930 and is still being reprinted to this day.

Hitty relates the adventures of a hand-carved wooden doll that Field found in an antique store.  Our Hitty Preble doll is a flat version of Hitty.  A careful reading of Hitty reveals that the story begins and ends on Great Cranberry Island, a fact little-known, until now, to the many Hitty collectors and fan clubs.  The evidence for Hitty's Great Cranberry Island roots is presented on our new web page at:

Work & Play"

Summer Exhibit and Publication
This year's museum display will be entitled, "WINTER - Work & Play," showing how the island coped with winter in days gone by, from A to Z including Ada's ice skates, ice cutting equipment, a mail sled, wooden snow shovels, to "catching some Zs" in zero degrees.

Finding Aid
Finding Aid
We now have at the museum a computerized "Finding Aid" to locate any document in the Museum's collection.  An archival grant from the State of Maine two years ago enabled us to place all documents in archival boxes, and to create a computerized database with their titles, descriptions, and many with small pictures.  A shortened version of the finding aid is on the web.

The Museum
The museum will have extended hours this coming summer 10:30 to 4:00 with Charlene Allen again our able hostess.  We were given several large and interesting antiques for the museum this fall- you'll have to check them out.

And More...
Besides those specific projects, of course we will continue our ongoing endeavors to photograph and videotape island people, events, and activities for the preservation and enjoyment of future island residents.

The Multimedia Center is for everyone's use.

See us on the Internet at:

We still need your membership and support to fulfill these projects and events.

As you may well imagine, we have a great need of your help to propose and plan the many details of our permanent museum building.

Please consider how you might be part of our exciting building program.

With many thanks from your president.
Wini Smart