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Islesford Historical Museum

Little Cranberry Island

Inhabitants of the Cranberry Islands have long depended on resources they could extract from the land and sea. Centuries after the Wabanaki started canoeing to the islands, European settlers, some of whose descendents still live on the islands today, were farming, tending to livestock, fishing, and even hunting whales. Salted cod and smoked mackerel were daily nutritious fare for the settlers, who also sold their catch to earn money or credit for basic goods that they could not hunt, fish, or grow themselves. Today, lobster traps have replaced drying fish as the most visible evidence of an island community reliant on fishing. The Islesford Historical Museum, part of Acadia National Park since 1949, is dedicated to the history of the Cranberry Islands, with a focus on life in the 19th century. Objects on exhibit include sextants and octants, a harpoon gun and ship clock, store ledgers and weights, and many other colonial artifacts.

207-288-3338  | www.nps.gov/acad/planyourvisit/islesfordhistoricalmuseum.htm

Seasonal (June-Sept; M-Sat 10-4:30, Sun 11-4:30). Fee. Restroom.

Fisheries Heritage

Just before the Civil War, a visitor to Cranberry Isles wrote, “The occupations of the inhabitants as well as the substantial arrangements of their tables, are furnished from the mute briny world.” [AJ Coolidge and JB Mansfield, A History and Description of New England: Maine, Boston, Austin J. Coolidge, 1860, p. 90.]

Events & Activities

Acadia National Park Ranger Led Programs 

Sources & Links

Acadia National Park 

Islesford Historical Museum 

Islesford Historical Society

Great Cranberry Island Historical Society  

Cranberry Isles, Maine  

Maine Folklife Center, Life of the Maine Lobsterman Interview Collection: Interviews with Edwin Lawson, 73, about lobstering on the Maine coast.