Boats and Buoys Exhibit at Islesford Historical Museum Excites Visitors

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Date: September 15, 2015
Contact: John Kelly, 207-288-8703

The park is pleased to announce the opening of a new exhibit at Islesford Historical Museum titled, "Boats &Buoys: Lobstering on Little Cranberry Island," which will run through October 16 and return for the 2016 summer season with additional exhibits for the Acadia Centennial.

Visitors to the exhibition are invited to step onto the stern of a "lobster boat" and handle the tools used daily by fishermen; enjoy a video starring several lobstermen answering questions about their trade; and see boat models, paintings, buoys, a hooked rug, and poetry created by the fishermen and their families. The exhibit was designed by Betts Swanton and built by Mida Ballard.

"We are excited about this new community-designed exhibit at Islesford Museum because it celebrates the men and women who have fished the waters around Little Cranberry Island for generations," said Superintendent Sheridan Steele. "This effort was only possible because of a new partnership with the Friends of the Islesford Historical Museum," he added. "They funded, coordinated, designed, and fabricated this exhibit with the lobstering community on Islesford to enable visitors to gain insights into how lobstering and island life look today."

The Friends of the Islesford Historical Museum formed in 2013, with the goal of working with the park to raise funds to rehabilitate and maintain the museum, and engage residents of Cranberry Isles to participate in museum exhibits and programs linking their community with visitors to the museum. This partnership has expanded to include the funding of boat trips for school groups to see this exhibit and experience true island life in Maine.

"The schools were so excited that the programs filled within three days of being advertised," said Chief of Interpretation Lynne Dominy. "We hope to expand the number of programs available next fall to accommodate all groups before the exhibit closes next October."

Islesford is located on Little Cranberry Island, which is one of only 15 inhabited year-round islands on the coast of Maine. Most residents of Islesford make their living from the ocean just as their ancestors did. With magnificent views of Mount Desert Island as their backdrop and nothing but the open sea to the east, Islesford fishermen harvest many thousands of lobsters annually and ship them to all parts of the world. As citizen scientists, they are leaders in the quest to understand lobster habitat and sustainability. The exhibit explores this group of highly creative and independent fishermen and women who work in harmony for the good of their industry and their community.

Islesford Historical Museum is open daily through September 26 9 am-3 pm, except on Sundays when the hours are 11 am-4 pm. Beginning on September 28 through October 16, the museum will be open Monday through Friday 9 am-3 pm. Admission is free. Access to Islesford is by boat only. Please visit for more information on ferries and water taxis. The museum is an easy walk from the dock in Islesford.

For more information about the exhibit, please visit and follow Friends of the Islesford Historical Museum on Facebook.

Last updated: September 17, 2015

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