Great Cranberry Island Historical Society
Museum Memos
Volume 12 Nov 2007

Cranberry House Poised to Open in 2008
inside museum

First Floor Museum Installation

All major construction work on Cranberry House was completed in mid-September (except kitchen and handicap lift, due to funding.)  Next, volunteers painted walls, trim, and floors, and installed the eight museum display panels.

We had the BIG MOVE on September 30, 2007.  That time of year it’s hard to find helpers, but we gathered a willing and ample crew, with three cars and three trucks. The weather cooperated, cool and clear, and everything went smoothly.  It took 5 hours to move everything from the schoolhouse museum to the Preble-Marr Museum in Cranberry House.  It took another week to put it all in its proper place.

Next year, we think you’ll be pleased to see your museum in its very own home.  Everything fits in well, and looks more attractive.  The displays are less cluttered since we can store unused artifacts out of sight in the basement, and rotate different items in, for variety.

A tremendous THANK-YOU to all our volunteers who helped in the big move: Charlene Allen, Marianne Avery, Blair Colby, Mary Corley, Bruce Komusin, Mickey Macfarlan, Owen Roberts, Phil and Karin Whitney, and Wini Smart.

inside cultural center

Second Floor Cultural Center Plans

Upstairs, the multipurpose room is finished and ready for use.  We even restored the six legacy lights under which rusticators - including Rachel Field - once dined.

The room is open, bright, and music friendly - an ideal place to host all kinds of interesting activities.  Next year we plan two musical events, an art show, art and writing classes, and regularly-scheduled movies.

Need for a Handicap Lift
We do have a problem, though.  The Code Enforcement Officer warned us that a handicap lift is required.  Without it, we can’t open the Cultural Center or bathroom to the public, since they’d both be inaccessible to people who can’t climb stairs.  The lift would also serve as a convenient freight elevator, simplifying the movement of heavy items or food carts between the first and second floors.  So, to really open properly, we need to “lift” our budget by $25,000.  We’re off to a good start.

The Challenge Grant
Kathryn Davis of Northeast Harbor just sent us $10,000 as a Handicap Lift Challenge Grant.  Now we have to raise the $15,000 balance.  Won’t some of you who haven’t yet given consider adding to this fund?  It’s an especially thoughtful way to honor an elderly loved one.

Don’t let the Grand Opening be marred by a closed-off area!  We need the lift.  Please do what you can to help.

Two Grand Opening Events in 2008
To include all our summer residents and guests, we’re planning two big events next year.  Geoff Wadsworth will present a special musical event on Sunday, July 27th.  The following Saturday night, August 2nd, will be a Grand Opening reception for “Art of the Cranberries,” an exhibit including artists from all the islands, plus a small art auction of selected pieces.

Cranberry House Gifts Received in 2007
This year, grants earmarked for specific purposes from our generous donors met almost all our needs:

  • $80,000 for septic, fire escape, & interior renovation
  • $25,000 for interior renovation
  • $ 6,500 for gas heating system on ground & first floor levels
  • $ 5,000 for restoration & finishing of museum flooring
  • $ 5,000 for chairs, tables, & furnishings
  • $ 1,840 for garden planter & flowers
  • $ 1,000 + a fridge, stove, & ice creme freezer for café kitchen
  • $ 1,150 for memorial windows & doors
  • $ 655 for landscaping & plants

The Handicap Lift Fund
We have a good start with the $10,000 Handicap Lift Challenge Grant.  Now we must raise an additional $15,000 to meet the challenge and fully fund the handicap lift.  To do that, we need help from ALL of you!

The Hitty Café Kitchen Fund
Everyone awaits the opening of the café.  The kitchen floors and walls are done, but the room is bare.  Donors have given some funds and appliances, but we still need a sink, dishwasher, cabinets, work tables, and storage shelves.  To fully equip the kitchen, and plumb the appliances, we’ve budgeted $10,000.

For a gift in that amount, we’ll name the kitchen to honor or remember your special someone.

Of course, any gift, no matter its size, will help open the café - hopefully next year!  Won’t you help?

We are a 501 (c)(3) tax exempt organization.  All your money goes to a worthwhile project, with no administration fees.

Winter Work
This winter, with heat installed in Cranberry House, we plan to catch up on basic museum business.  All our artifacts, and some newly-acquired documents, haven’t yet been entered into the archival system and listed in our database - a time-consuming but essential job.  Time permitting, we also plan to convert our 2006 and 2007 exhibit panels into booklets, to be sold in the museum store.  We also want to print-ahead a small quantity of all our pubs, so we have a good stock for our grand opening next year.

New Museum Exhibit for 2008
The theme for next year’s exhibit will be “Island Enterprises.”  We could use more objects, tools, and artifacts related to shipbuilding, fishing, farming, quilt or rug making, or other small businesses on Cranberry island.  Please call Bruce 207-244-3682 or Wini 941-475-2873 to loan an item for this exhibit.

Cultural Center Activities in 2008
Great plans are underway for varied Cultural Center programs in 2008.  The events committee has exciting ideas, not only for our own activities, such as the Grand Opening, but also to invite creative and knowledgeable people to speak, perform, or display their specialties.  But, to do anything, we need a handicap lift.  Please do what you can to help now.

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Check out the progress of Cranberry House and museum activities for next summer... on the WEB!