The Friends of the Islesford Historical Museum, a group of summer and year-round residents, formed in 2014 with the goal of working in partnership with Acadia National Park to raise funds that will support the maintenance and upkeep of the historic museum building. To do this the group will install community-curated exhibitions in the museum that relate to the rich history of the Town of Cranberry Isles. The exhibitions are intended to re-kindle local interest in the museum and complement the park’s own permanent exhibit. Admission to all exhibits is free. The Friends group will actively seek donations for building maintenance and improvements so that eventually more of the community’s historical artifacts may be safely exhibited there.
The first exhibition created by The Friends of the Islesford Historical Museum opens in June 2015 for the summer season and will return for the summer of 2016. Called “Boats & Buoys: Lobstering on Little Cranberry Island,” the exhibit honors the men and women who have fished the waters around Little Cranberry Island for generations. The history of Isleford lobstering, as well as the present status of the lobster industry, is explored. Visitors to the exhibition will be able to handle the tools used daily by fishermen; watch a video starring several current lobstermen answering questions about their trade; and see boat models, paintings, buoys, carvings, and poetry created by the versatile and talented fishermen. The exhibit will provide insights into the challenges faced by lobstermen in the past and some of the changes they may face in the future.