Islesford Historical Museum

small brick building and wooden outbuilding on coast
Islesford Historical Museum and the Blue Duck

NPS Photo

Visit Islesford Historical Museum

Explore the Cranberry Isles and the lives of their hardy inhabitants in the Islesford Historical Museum on Little Cranberry Island. On permanent exhibit in every corner of the museum are objects—many of them everyday tools of their time—that tell stories of island life: sextant and octants, harpoon gun and ship clocks, store ledgers and weights. In addition to the museum and interpretive exhibits, facilities include restrooms, drinking fountains, and a small bookstore.

Since the opening of the Islesford Historical Museum in 1928, visitors have been offered short, informal talks — a tradition carried on by park rangers. 5-10 minute programs on island history happen twice a day and do not require a reservation. Contact the museum for the daily schedule, topic, or more information.

Getting Around

The island is accessible by mail boat or tour boat from Northeast Harbor or Southwest Harbor. From late May through September, the park offers the ranger-narrated Islesford Historical Cruise, which makes a 45-minute stop at the museum (see schedule of events for dates and times).

The museum is open daily from 9 am to noon and 12:30 pm to 3:30 pm from mid-June through September (opens at 10:45 am on Sundays).

An image from inside the Islesford Historical Museum of the lobstering exhibit.
Islesford Historical Museum exhibit

NPS Photo

Living History

The Islesford Historical Museum continues its mission of celebrating Islesford’s cultural history. Since 2014, rotating exhibits curated by Friends of the Islesford Historical Museum have shared family photos, home videos, and artifacts with the public. For many residents and repeat visitors, familiar names and faces line the walls. This work is supported by Friends of Acadia.

William Otis Sawtelle Collection

Selected objects from the collection.

Historic photograph of a brick building with people grouped in front

Learn about the William Otis Sawtelle Collections and Research Center, dedicated to the founder of the Islesford Historical Museum.


Open Transcript 


This timelapse is of a clear morning with blue skies along the coast of Little Cranberry Island. The perspective is from someone standing next to the Blue Duck, a building located right along the shore. Boats are moving in the harbor and people are walking along the rocky beach.

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15 seconds

The Blue Duck is a historic building, owned and leased out by Acadia National Park, located on the coastline of Little Cranberry Island. This timelapse is part of a series produced by the Acadia Youth Technology Team (AYTT), an internship program with Friends of Acadia and the National Park Service.

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    Last updated: January 6, 2021

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    Contact Info

    Mailing Address:

    PO Box 177
    Bar Harbor, ME 04609


    207 288-3338

    Contact Us