Great Cranberry Island Historical Society
Museum Memos
Volume 6 November 2004

ON THE MORNING OF November 16th 2004, more than a year of planning finally came together as the Mountain View Inn slowly moved down the Main Road, up Schoolhouse Hill, and onto its foundation next to the parsonage, to begin a new life as Cranberry House: a permanent home for the Historical Museum, plus a new Cultural Center.

True, the old gal looked a bit seedy and scraped after her adventure, but what else could you expect? She's five feet wider than the Main Road, after all. During the move only one pane of glass was broken -- proof of the skill of house mover Ken Jordan.

Most available island residents were there to enjoy the 3-hour show, even in the freezing weather. Ruth Westphal served coffee and muffins on her porch as the building went by.

Bruce Komusin returned to the island from his home on Long Island, NY, to be there for the BIG MOVE, and to assist our Building Committee chairman, Phil Whitney.

Many thanks to them and the other Building Committee members: Sarah Newell, Sam King, Wini Smart, and Gene Vance. They met weekly and sometimes even more often, all summer and into the fall, also making visits off-island to contractors, engineers, and the architect.

movers at work
Cranberry House being moved onto foundation

With an old building, various difficulties arose. A public building must meet current State fire codes and handicap requirements: additional structural supports, wider stairs and doors, a lift to the second floor, a handicap bathroom facility -- all these had to be in the plans.

The building now has a full basement, and is level with the road. More fill will be required to level the sloping lot and build a parking space behind the building.

Additional costs over the original estimate caused great concern for the committee members, but by some small miracle, we did accomplish our first year goal.

Hats off to Fundraising chairmen Owen Roberts, Special Events Committee chairman Susanne Shoemaker and all her helpers, and to Charlotte Harlan, for all their successful endeavors. We're wishing Auction chairman Leslie Watson even greater success for next season.

With the generous help of grants from MBNA, the Maine Community Foundation, the Island Institute, and the Community Assistance Fund, plus many private donors and, of course, your Historical Society memberships, this first phase of the project was able to succeed.

Year 2005
In Phase 2 next year, we'll start renovation, mostly on the first floor. Electric power, water, and a septic system will be needed, as well as rebuilt stairs, wider doors, and a lift to the second floor.

Hopefully we'll receive more grants and other private funding to continue this worthy project.

A wonderful event is planned for next summer to help raise additional funds for Cranberry House.

NEW! For Christmas:

Thoughtful gifts for your Cranberry Island friends and relatives.

"Hitty Preble of the Cranberry Isles"
A flat wooden doll, plus a storybook about Rachel Field's award-winning book, Hitty, Her First Hundred Years, and the people and places here on Great Cranberry Island included in her book.
--Price including shipping...$25

"Great Cranberry Island:
Hitty's Home"

This new DVD video is now available.  See the description under the picture, above right.
--Price including shipping...$24

"Winter: The Other Season"
A publication with old photos of the island, plus many stories from year-round residents, by Wini Smart & Bruce Komusin.
--Price including shipping...$22

Order forms on the web at

All proceeds go towards the Cranberry House Building Fund

Great Cranberry Island Historical Society

P.O. Box 12
Cranberry Isles, ME 04625

wrapped DVD

This new DVD video shows lovely scenes of Great Cranberry Island, and recounts the history of Rachel Field's visits here and the connection between island places and the ones in her book. (Yes, Rachel Field did take meals at the Mountain View Inn -- now the Cranberry House.)

In the video, Sofie, a cute island 3-year-old, and a Hitty look-alike, visits scenes from the book. Of course she stole the show!

Geoff Wadsworth wrote a wonderful original song, Hitty’s Theme, sung by our own Audrey Noether. Other islanders played their parts, making it an educational and very enjoyable 25-minute film.

Bruce Komusin and Wini Smart created this video especially to present at the Hitty and Friends 10th Anniversary Reunion, held in Williamsburg, Virginia, on October 30. Before and after the presentation, excited Hitty fans overwhelmed our sales table. Proceeds from this and our other books were $1500! We had a busy morning!


Art of the Cranberry Isles

Exhibit and Auction to benefit the Cranberry House: Thursday, July 28, 2005 at the Neighborhood House, Northeast Harbor, Maine.

The unique exhibit, all from private collectors, will feature artists inspired by the beauty of the Cranberry Isles. The auction will include paintings, art works, crafts, and gifts. Cranberry Isles music and refreshments will make this a highlight of your summer!

You can help three ways: volunteer to act as hostess during the event, donate an artwork, gift, or craft item for sale at the auction, or personal or company sponsorship (to be acknowledged in the program, if desired.) Contact Auction Chairman Leslie Watson at 860-529-2626 for more info.