On a sunny August afternoon, I sat with leaders of Great Cranberry Island Historical Society at a picnic table outside Cranberry House. We had just toured the new space described in the current edition of the Mount Desert Islander (see box). I learned of the impressive services the society offers their island community. Conversation turned to The History Trust when I asked why the society had joined as a member.

President Phil Whitney feels that the historical society gains a lot of good off-island connections and acquaintances by participating in The History Trust. Those are important contacts in the work of the society because island life can be geographically isolating, especially in winter. Phil’s lifetime of connections to on-island people and places are likely of even greater value to their successes.

Archive Chair Pixie Lauer finds the people and online resources of History Trust invaluable in learning how to preserve and maintain the collection housed at Cranberry House. She first came to Cranberry as a child in the early 1960s, but only recently has taken on the challenges of managing the society’s historical collection. Becoming more familiar with the tech side of Great Cranberry’s Digital Archive is high on Pixie’s “to-do” list.

General Manager Ben Sumner is overseeing the addition to Cranberry House, among other tasks. He commented that The History Trust has been a big help in his work, first by organizing a collections survey and then providing guidelines for the archival storage portion of the construction. A 2017 assessment report was the foundation for their archive improvement and capital campaign.

Good connections, helpful resources, and learning—that’s what The History Trust is all about! It’s good to know membership in the Trust has played at least a small part in the recent success of Great Cranberry Island Historical Society.

~ Photo: “Store counter from Elisha Bunker’s store,” Great Cranberry Island Historical Society …view item

Mount Desert Island has been Bruce’s home base since 1984, first working with Maine Coast Heritage Trust, then the National Park Service, and now as a consultant to nonprofits.