History of Cranberry House

Original Setup (2004-2008)
Kitchen & Deck Expansion (2011)

Summary of Original Setup (2004-2008)

The Cranberry House project was conceived in late 2003, presented in a 2004 prospectus, and finally completed in 2008, after a long intensive private fund raising effort, which raised almost $600,000 with help from the MBNA Foundation, the New Century Community Program, the Island Institute, and generous donations from local donors and GCIHS members.  The booklet Cranberry House Contruction Contributions 2004-2008 is available at the museum store with a complete list of donations from individuals, foundations, and fundraising events.

Mtn View Inn


From the beginning we wanted to reuse an old historic structure rather than building new.  The old Mountain View Inn was available, and in sound condition.  It would be moved, refurbished, and renamed "Cranberry House."


In 2004 a full basement was poured and the building was moved onto it.

In 2005 the exterior was rebuilt with new windows, doors, and siding.

In 2006 the deck, porch, and well were added.

In 2007 the fire escape, fire sprinkler, septic, and basement heater were added, with much interior work.

In 2008 the handicap lift and museum heater were installed, and all finishing touches.

Cranberry House was completed in the spring of 2008.  It is the only building on Great Cranberry with a fire sprinkler system and handicap lift.

Hitty's Café was opened 4 June 2008, after a pre-opening "Sweet Sale."
The Preble-Marr Historical Museum opened 15 June 2008.
The first event at the Cultural Center - Movie Night - was on 16 June 2008.
The official Ribbon Cutting Ceremony was held on 4 July 2008.

A new outdoor sign was hung 2 August 2009, with the Cultural Center more conveniently named the Arts Center.

Plans and Working Documents

Electric Plan
obsolete working notes


Cranberry House consists of a 2-story building with a walk-in basement.  The ground floor contains the Historical Museum and a kitchen for a take-out café with seating on the front deck.  The second floor holds the Cultural Center -- a large multipurpose room -- plus a restroom.  The Media Room (computer lab), utility room, and archival storage are in the walk-in basement.

Cranberry House sits on a 2-acre lot adjacent to the Parsonage.  The driveway entrance is directly off the main road, at the top of Schoolhouse Hill, with good views of the road in both directions.  The driveway goes past Cranberry House to a parking lot behind.

Walk-in and wheelchair visitors can mount an earthen ramp from the driveway to the front deck (and thence enter the Museum) -- or they can continue down the driveway to the parking lot, and onto a sloped path to the walk-in basement at the rear of the building.  All path slopes are 1-in-20, to allow safe wheelchair passage.  A lift is installed between the first and second floors, to allow access to the Cultural Center and restroom.

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Cranberry House Lot Layout
(updated 10 apr 2007)
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Cranberry House Landscaping
(updated 16 aug 2005)

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Artist's Conception of Cranberry House
(updated 16 aug 2005)

Actual photo of Cranberry House
21 June 2007

previous (obsolete) version


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Museum & Hitty's Café
(first, or lower floor)
(updated 20 mar 2007)
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Cultural Center & Restroom
(second, or upper floor)
(updated 20 mar 2007)

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Media Room & storage
Ground floor (walk-in basement)
(10 apr 2007)
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Detail of Hitty's Café Kitchen
(20 Jan 2008)

Summary of Kitchen & Deck Expansion (2011)

After several years of operation by a single chef plus a cashier, experience has shown that a single chef cannot reasonably be expected to run the café 7 days a week during the whole summer season. It's necessary to have a second qualified chef, to share the work during busy times, and to allow one or the other to occasionally take a day off. So the decision was made to expand the kitchen to accommodate two chefs plus have more room to keep refrigerated foods in the kitchen.

The plan calls for the south kitchen wall to be pushed out 8 feet, with a new "porch roof" over it. The new roof will wrap around to the front and cover a new serving window on the addition's front (east) wall. There will also be a new exterior door, landing, and stairs on the back (west) wall for flow-through ventilation.

The deck, too, will be expanded by 8 feet immediately in front of the new serving window, under the new porch roof, and to within 8 feet of the front of the deck. Then the new deck will slope in to meet the old deck at the front steps - so we will not have to expand the front steps.

The new plan was carefully designed to blend in with the original look of Cranberry House, and in fact it actually improves the symmetry by balancing the front facade. The deck must also be expanded to retain the same look. This has the added advantage of adding several more tables for customers.

The expansion was started mid April 2011, and is expected to be completed before the café is scheduled to open on May 28.


22 Apr
Kitchen will be pushed out 8' from the black area where siding was removed.
Cement footings 8' out have already been placed and are curing.
The electrician removes the service entrance (with meter) from the building.
It will be relocated to a similar spot on the new kitchen wall.

23-24 Apr

25 Apr
Treated wood risers are attached to the cement footings.
A frame of 2x10s is installed.
A plywood subfloor is applied to cover the frame.

26 & 27 Apr
Rain; no work

28 Apr
The front and back walls are attached.

29 Apr
The long south side wall is attached.

30 Apr & 1 May

2 May
Most wall plywood is installed.
The first roof rafter is installed.

3 May
More, but not all wall plywood is installed.
All roof rafters are in place.
Tar paper is installed on the walls.

4 & 5 May
Rain; no work

6 May
All wall plywood is installed.
All roof plywood is installed.
Roof tar paper and some shingles are installed.
Note: the part of the roof that goes "around the corner" will be installed later.

7-8 May

9 May
Framework for corner decking is installed.
New exterior electric meter & entry box, plus some wiring installed.

10 May
Rain; no outside work.
Wiring for most outlets and switches installed.
New electric sub-panel installed in basement.

11 May
Framework for complete deck and corner porch roof fitted in place.
Two additional outlets installed.
Exhaust fan installed in ceiling.

12 May
Deck framework completed.

13 May
Roof framework completed.
Railings removed.

14-15 May

16 May
Light rain; Windows covered with plywood.
Wall insulation installed.

17 May
Light rain.
Ceiling rafters and insulation installed.

18 - 23 May
Rainy and damp weather.
Ceiling & wall plasterboard installed & mudded several times.
South window installed.

24 May
Ceiling & walls painted and window trimmed.