Great Cranberry Island Historical Society
Museum Memos
Volume 14 Dec 2008

Thanks for a Great Year!

Our first year at Cranberry House was a rousing success.  The Preble-Marr Museum had more visitors than ever–sometimes as many as 100 per day–thanks to its more convenient location, plus the added attractions of the café, public trail, and cultural center activities.

The café on the front deck was a delightful place to enjoy a great lunch or snack.  Lauren Simmons proved to be a friendly and able cook.  Our public trail to the Western Way was a big attraction and saw constant use.

The cultural center had great appeal to islanders and visitors alike.  Our week-long “Art of the Cranberry Isles” exhibit showed over 50 art works; many sold.  Three concerts offered the island a variety of live music.  It was fun to sit on the lawn and hear good music.  Classic movies were shown each week, served up with hot buttered popcorn.  Guest speakers gave interesting and informative talks on history, geology, Hollywood musicals, and art.  We held classes in painting, poetry writing, and digital photography, and had a poetry night, a children’s craft workshop, and a teen fun night.  It was a very successful and varied agenda.

Activities in 2008 were free (except class tuition to pay teachers.)  This was to thank everyone for all the help they gave Cranberry House over the last four years.

But we did have to subsidize almost all events.  Fees, ferry trips, food, and other expenses were never fully covered by donations received in the jar at the event.

Next year we hope to offer classes in art, creative writing, photography, rug making, stained glass, and possibly others.  We plan to continue the movies, repeat the August art show, and have more inspiring speakers and wonderful musical evenings.

To present such an ambitious program, we are creating five funds to accept specific-purpose donations:

  • Music Fund: supports live music concerts.
  • Movie Fund: pays licensing fees.
  • Program Fund: pays for other events.
  • Operating Fund: pays office expenses, building repair.
  • Endowment Fund: when funded, can replace all above.

You can donate to one or more of these funds using the membership form on the back.

tree on fire escape
Phil Whitney surveys storm damage.

Freak storm hits hard
A gusty late November rain storm cut power for two days, and blew down several trees on our property–two of them damaging the fire escape hand rails.  Fortunately, the building was only scratched, and power was restored Thanksgiving morning at 2:30 am.

Since the repair cost is likely to be less than our $5000 insurance deductible, we will have to pay out of scarce operating funds.


The Preble-Marr Museum was named in honor of the family of Louise Marr, a generous museum donor.  The Marr family owned the Preble house before selling it to the Macfarlans.  At Wini’s recent visit to Louise, now 98 years young, she wished the museum the very best, and hoped it will give pleasure to people for many years.



John & Karin work on ship
John and Karin
tiny pulley and rope
detail of mast
Mickey & John work on ship
Mickey and John
2009 Exhibit to Feature Giant Ship Model
Phil Whitney loaned the museum a wonderfully detailed ship model made by his uncle, Herbert Whitney, in 1935-1937.  Phil & Karin Whitney, John French, and

Mickey Macfarlan are meeting each Sunday in the multimedia room to fix it up.  Ralph Stanley visited to see the progress and gave his approval.  It will be a great centerpiece for the 2009 Boatbuilding Exhibit.

Officers & Board Members
Mark Alley*
Alice Murphy Bancroft
Malcolm Donald*
Charlotte Harlan
Nick Herold*
Vicky Johnston
Bruce Komusin, Treas.
Michael Macfarlan
KittyPierson*, Sec’y
Owen Roberts
BeverlySanborn, V.P.
Wini Smart, Pres.
Sharon Whitham Wadsworth
Leslie Watson
Phil Whitney, V.P.
* elected at 2008 Annual Mtg

Alyson MayoNew Employee Hired
Due to the many details in advertising and coordinating cultural center and museum activities, the Board of Trustees has agreed to hire a part-time director next season.

Alyson Mayo will fill this position, and is additionally working one day a week this winter, to help archive our many documents and artifacts.  She will also write grant applications, and assist in event planning for next season.

New Trail Very Popular
The Maine Coast Heritage Trust cooperated with the Great Cranberry Island Historical Society, O.P. Jackson, and Bruce Komusin, who generously gave right-of-way over their land, for a beautiful trail to the shore at Whistler’s Cove.  This proved to be very popular with hikers of all ages and many came to the island for this purpose.  They also would visit the museum and café.

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Annual Membership is DUE!
We rely on your membership dues and donations for all ongoing expenses: keeping programs running and paying our hostess and part time Cultural Center Director.