Richard Beal Other years: 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005

1998 Cranberry Isles Report
by Richard Beal

September 4  11  25
October   2   9  15  23
November  2   7

Dateline November 7, 1998

      Janice Smith Murch has been at her home on Dog Point Road for the past week. Yesterday, she returned to Columbus, Ohio for the winter months. In the interim, Frank Stanley of Tremont will continue his remodeling efforts of Ms. Murch's home.

      Gaile Colby and Arvard Savage of Dog Point Farm have just returned from visiting Arvard's brother, Clayton, on Swans Island. Clayton was formerly a school teacher on Swans and is currently a lobsterman.

      The selectmen of Cranberry Isles recently appointed Richard Beal as Constable for Great Cranberry. This appointment is in addition to his duties as Harbor Master.

      The majority of Great Cranberry's lobstering fleet have pulled their traps and hauled their boats with Kevin Wedge pulling his boat this past week. Carl Wedge, Harry Alley and Lindon Colby in the next few weeks will be removing their remaining traps from coastal waters and putting up their lobstering vessels for the winter months. This will leave on Great Cranberry only Wesley Bracy Jr. and his son, Scott, fishing throughout the winter months in deeper waters. David Bunker, of Beal & Bunker, Inc., assisted by his son, James, have begun taking scallop divers out on fishing trips during weekends. James is currently a sophomore at MDI High School.

      Annette Naegel of the Island Institute in Rockland; William Livingston, Chairman of Forest Ecosystem Science, Univ. of Maine; Al Kimble, Associate Professor, and John Daigle, Assistant Professor of Forest Recreation, both in the Department of Forest Management, Univ. of Maine; and Thomas Thiel of Design Works, Inc., Center Sandwich, New Hampshire visited Great Cranberry this past week for the purpose of understanding what forest conditions exist throughout the island and to determine the feasibility of using Great Cranberry as a future learning center for graduate students in forestry management. Great Cranberry, like most of the Maine islands, was nearly barren of trees approximately 100 years ago due to clear cutting at the height of the coastal lumbering operation. While new conifer growth occurred, all of the current trees are uniform in their growth pattern with considerable damage now evident due to a "Hemlock Looper" infestation in 1994/95. It is hoped that the University's graduate students will be able to study current conditions and offer residents recommendations on the best methods for managing their lands while maintaining the beauty of the island. Christopher White was the group's host for their visit assisted by Gaile Colby, Michael Macfarlan, Richard Beal and Arvard Savage.

      All residents are reminded that Reverend Ted Hoskins of the Sea Coast Mission will be having a service at the Congregational Church, Friday evening, 13 November, after a pot luck supper at the Ladies Aid building. Supper will begin promptly at 5:30 PM.

Dateline November 2, 1998

      The town selectmen's meeting was held Monday, 2 November, with Maurice Phillips and Edward Horvath present for a quorum. The Treasurer's report and warrant were presented by Clerk Frances Bartlett and approved. General discussions were held on the lack of an October pickup of refuse for delivery to the mainland. First Selectman Horvath will be writing a letter to Ed Gray, the contractor for this service, to remind him of his contractual responsibility. Also discussed was the number of street lights on both islands which require replacement by Bangor Hydro Electric prior to the snow season.

      Cranberry Isles has made a bid for a new snow plow for Islesford but nothing has been heard as to a selection by Northeast Harbor on the sale of their truck. Winning this bid will dictate where the recently purchased truck from a Tremont gentleman will be kept or sold in favor of this Northeast Harbor truck.

      The Harbor Ordinance submitted last month by the Great Cranberry Harbor Master has been accepted and is now being provided to the Fisherman's Co-op for review as well as seeking a review by the Maine Municipal Association prior to a formal vote at next March's town meeting. The Great Cranberry Harbor Master also presented a Technical Specification for repair to the town pier which was accepted with instructions to complete the "Terms and Conditions" portion of the proposal package. In the interim, the Selectmen will seek a review by the Hancock County Planning Commission after which bidders will be sought for pier repairs.

      A representative from the Cranberry Isles Realty Trust was present to discuss their request for town support of a grant proposal which is in the formulation stage and due for submission in January 1999. Formal briefings for all towns people on the goals of this realty trust will be held Thursday, 5 November, at 4:00PM at the Islesford Neighborhood House and at 7:00PM at the Great Cranberry Fire House.

      Finally, the Selectmen concluded their meeting by appointing Richard Beal as Constable for Great Cranberry Island. This appointment is in addition to his duties as Harbor Master. The next Selectmen's meeting will be 7 December at 8:30 AM in the Great Cranberry Fire House.

      Returning to Great Cranberry for a weeks visit were Doctor Richard Pierson and family.

Dateline October 23, 1998

      The Great Cranberry Library Board met on 17 October for its monthly meeting with Ed Horvath, Barbara Stainton, Sonya Colby, Micky Macfarlan, and Richard Beal present. Reviewed and accepted were the financial and secretarial reports. The board continues to experience problems in locating a carpenter for repairs to the library doors and frames. New home construction and fall maintenance projects throughout the island have commanded the time of all available resources. Board members reviewed the web page for the Cranberry Isles prior to meeting close, noting that considerable information on Islesford, Baker, Bear and Sutton Islands is required to flesh out and present a definitive perspective on these islands. For those interested the address is: The next monthly meeting is scheduled for 14 November at 2:00 PM.

      Island life generally prompts stories of the sea but last Wednesday it was U.S. Air Force war stories as Arthur Bunker of Great Cranberry welcomed Richard and Blanche Thrasher, and their daughter Sherry, to the island for a visit. The Thrashers live in Abilene, Texas and decided that a Maine fall with its foliage must be experienced at least once. Thrasher and Bunker are both retired aerial weapons operators from the Air Force and served as flight crew members in B-52 aircraft during Vietnam. The best of the stories, however, was the telling of one of Thrasher's three take offs without landing. Seems he was crewing a B-36 on patrol in the North Pacific when an engine caught fire. Returning to the coast of Alaska in the middle of the night with no navigator, since he had already bailed out on orders of the Captain, Trasher waited for his turn to jump tucking his heavy winter parkas into a leg strap. Upon jumping, the parachute didn't open and it took him a number of seconds to remove his gloves while falling through the cold air and activate his secondary parachute. When it did open there was but a second after inflation and he hit a large pine tree limb and was snagged tight. Being in total darkness and not knowing how high in the tree he was caught, only that his foot seemed to touch a branch below, he put on his parkas and waited for sunrise. At first light that branch turned out to be the tree's root and he had fallen to within a foot of the ground with less than 3 second of parachute inflation! Fortunately, he was not even scratched and never had to jump out of a plane again.

      On a reunion trip to Florida is Carl and Louise Strandberg, while Owen and Janet Roberts have returned to their home in Washington, DC for the winter months. Visiting Gaile Colby this past week for three days each were two of her daughters, Ronda King from Water Street, Ellsworth and Eileen Richards of Bangor.

      Working feverishly to complete final preparations for a gallery showing of his art is Robert LaHotan. Bob's show is schedule for 9 January in New York City.

Dateline October 15, 1998

      A Selectmen's Meeting was held 14 October at the Town office on Great Cranberry with a quorum composed of Edward Horvath and Katherine Chaplin. Absent were Selectman Maurice Phillips and Town Clerk Francis Bartlett. Minutes from the previous month's meeting were reviewed and accepted noting that the E-911 Map which was required by 1 October was still not completed. The following agenda items were discussed:

1) Islesford Truck: The selection committee of Paul Thormann, Cory Alley and Courtney Chaplin purchased a 1995 GMC 3500 pickup truck from Chris Harper of Tremont for $16,500. The truck comes with an 8 foot plow but requires some brake work as well as installation of plowing wing. Funds for these items will come from the $500 remaining in the truck account and bid sale of the old town truck "as is, where is". Bids for the old truck are due to the Town Clerk on or before 30 October 1998.

2) Deer Update: Selectman Chaplin has contacted Tom Shaeffer, Maine State Regional Biologist for Region C (Isle au Haut, Frenchboro, & Cranberries). His services have been requested to determine what magnitude of depredation hunt is required to reduce the deer population on Cranberry Isles. All of the islands are affected and as noted by Ed Horvath, "it is very common to still see fawns running around with spots".

3) Great Cranberry Town Wharf: Small ship harbors grant funds of $20,000 to assist in the repair of this wharf are still available, however, a repair specification is required and Requests for Quotes (RFQ) sent to various contractors. This correspondent, as Harbor Master, agreed to assist in preparing this specification and forwarding it to various contractors.

4) Town Parking Lot: The Futures Group has undertaken a survey of the parking lot to determine property lines prior to repair and parking layout. The last survey was prior to 1914 in preparation for acceptance of the main road by the State of Maine as a state aid road on Feb. 5, 1914. "Property lines are very confused and Stan Seimers has complained since 1930 about cars being parked on his property" stated Ed Horvath. The Selectmen agreed to support the Futures Group which is putting up $1000 with Town funds not to exceed $750.

5) CIRT Request: The Cranberry Isles Realty Trust has requested that [a] the Town donate a 2 acre parcel of land on the Harding Point Road, Great Cranberry; [b] the Town continue with a survey of the property for initiation of a tax lien; and [c] vote to have a Special Town Meeting for a town vote on donating this land. CIRT is discussed below in a separate article. There is no recorded owner of the land nor have taxes been paid for the past 95 years. The Selectmen voted to hold a Special Town Meeting on January 5, 1999 at the Great Cranberry Firehouse. In the interim special informational meetings by CIRT will be conducted 5 November 1998 at 4PM at the Islesford Neighborhood House and at 7PM at the Great Cranberry Ladies Aid Building.

6) Harbor Management Ordinance: Richard Beal presented a Harbor Management Ordinance at the request of the First Selectman for review and consideration. This draft ordinance covers all of the Cranberry Isles' harbors and is similar to the ordinances now in place for Southwest and Northeast Harbors.

7) New Business: In response to a question from the audience there was no financial report available, nor did the Selectman know if a complete listing had been prepared or was available for all delinquent property tax payers. The Town Clerk has been requested to initiate tax liens where appropriate. The next Selectman's Meeting has been scheduled for 08:30 AM, November 2, 1998 at the Islesford Neighborhood House.

      The Cranberry Isles Realty Trust was formed as a result of local concern in 1995 for the long term viability of Cranberry Isles as a year round community. At Town Meeting in March 1995 a committee was formed to study this problem, with the committee becoming incorporated in April 1997 and then in July 1998 the Internal Revenue Service granted CIRT 501-C-3 tax exempt status. CIRT is seeking to identify houses and/or land parcels that are on the market or may soon become saleable in order to develop suitable housing for permanent year round working families who are seeking employment on the islands. While assisting the Town in surveying and tracing ownership of land parcels, it is also seeking donations from individuals, trusts and corporations. CIRT has obtained the services of Matt Skolnikof, First Selectman of Isle au Haut, to assist in writing a request for a $300,000 Community Block Grant which must be submitted by the end of January 1999. If awarded it would be split evenly between Great Cranberry and Little Cranberry Islands. Obtaining donated land on Great Cranberry is essential in preparation of this grant request and therefore the request to the Selectmen at their October meeting.

      During the early morning hours of October 12th (Columbus Day) the high wind and waves being experienced in the Great Cranberry harbor were great enough to capsize and sink at her mooring the lobstering vessel "High Hopes" owned by Arvard Savage. As dawn broke and first light appeared citizens from across the island gathered and assisted in the successful recovery of "High Hopes." Arvard wishes to thank everyone for their caring assistance and a special Thank You to Lindon Colby who managed to get a line on "High Hopes" even though it was under water and then tow it ashore, and to Harry Beers (engine repair), Frank Stanley (First Selectman-Tremont) and Ed Horvath (First Selectman-Cranberry) for their rapid actions in assisting Lindon Colby.

Dateline October 9, 1998

      The Selectmen's Meeting for October was tentatively scheduled for 14 October at the time this column was filed. Results of the meeting will be in next weeks paper. Topics on the agenda for discussion were: (a) Harbor Regulations, (2) Bid specifications for Great Cranberry dock repairs, (3) Survey of Great Cranberry town parking lot, (4) Islesford town truck purchase, (5) Deer control action, and (6) Town Clerk financial report.

      Citizens of Great Cranberry are reminded that free flu shots may be obtained on Election Day, 3 November 1998, at the Ladies Aid Building. These free shots are provided annually to all residents by the Town of Cranberry Isles. A possibility of obtaining pneumonia shots is being researched but these would be at the expense of each individual if available.

      The Great Cranberry Futures Group meeting was held at the first of the month with Gaile Colby, Sonya Colby, Mickie Macfarlan, Owen Roberts, David Stainton (President), and Chris White present. Mr. Stainton reported that to date approximately 10,000 gallons of gasoline has been sold to island residents with only minor complaints. This is a non-profit operation and he suggested that perhaps the format by which the bookkeeper retrieves data from the pump for billing could be modified for ease of operation. Owen Roberts reported on the financial position of gasoline operations, indicating that they were in the black by $1000. As a result it was moved and passed to lower the cost of gasoline by $.05/gallon effective October 1, 1998 with the caveat that with the next filling of the storage tank the gas price would be reevaluated.

      The Futures Group has undertaken an effort to survey the parking lot by the Town Dock. The property lines are really very confusing and it will require a concerted effort by a surveyor to sort them out. The Group decided to approach the Town Selectmen with an offer to pay one-half of the survey expense, up to $1000. The objective of this survey is to improve overall parking facilities at the head of the dock.

      The meeting concluded with David Stainton discussing a grant proposal application forwarded to the Group by Annette Naegle of the Island Institute with a deadline due mid-October. Chris White and Mr. Stainton agreed to discuss with her the possibility of proposing use of Great Cranberry Island as a "Learning Laboratory" for college students researching projects in a variety of disciplines such as ornithology, forestry, or marine biology.

      Residents returned to the island for the Columbus Day holiday were Stuart & Dorothy Silvers of Richmond, VA., Annette & Omer Mountain of Rochester, NH., Armen Marsoobian of Gilford, Conn., Janice Murch of Cleveland Heights, Ohio, and James & Jane Wilson of Brookline, Mass.

      The Great Cranberry Boat Yard has recently hired a master carpenter. Mr. Foster B. Smith of Blue Hill, ME. will be assisting in the construction of the Western Way 19 boats while living at the Cranberry Congregation Parsonage for the winter months. Mrs. Foster (Loretta) will be dividing her time between Blue Hill and the island. The Fosters have three children: a daughter, Jerin Angela, who is married and twin 16 year old sons, Daryl David and Daniel Douglas. The boys will be continuing their education on the mainland.

      Reverend Ted Hoskins of the Sea Coast Mission visited the island last Saturday for an evening service before traveling Sunday to Frenchboro. A pot luck supper was held at the Ladies Aid building prior to his evening service at the Cranberry Congregational church.

Dateline October 2, 1998

      The autumn season has definitely arrived but not with the flourish of colors as found on the mainland due to our lack of hardwood trees. Nevertheless, efforts by all continue to be made in preparation for the winter months while several large construction projects are underway on the east end of the island. Of particular note is the new home being built by Christopher Forbes Nash of Massachusetts at the end of the island on land known as "Fish Point". While Mr. Nash was able to purchase this plot for slightly more than $300,000, he has not yet been able to acquire a land right of way to his future home. Consequently all present foundation construction efforts by John Goodwin, Jr. Construction, Inc. must be via ferry boat or barge. Further complicating efforts is the lack of electric power except by portable generator. Several proposals by him are soon to be presented to the Town Selectmen for installation of power cables under the "Pool" but an earlier attempt to gain a right of way for Bangor Hydro Electric to install these underwater cables was rejected by the Selectmen since the cables would be exposed twice daily due to the tides. Finally a unique design for the house maximizes available land while complying with code and I'm told by two planning board members that it will be large and very unusual.

      The Cranberry Boatyard currently has three "Western Way 19" craft under construction with final destinations slated for owners in Hancock, Me., Nantucket, RI., and Great Cranberry (Chris White). The boatyard is not the only place to find craft being built or under repair, however, with Beal & Bunker Inc. currently performing maintenance on the "Double B" in Northeast Harbor. The "Double B" is one of the vessels that provides mail and ferry service to the Cranberry Isles. Rick Cigilis and Robert Mailhut, captains for Beal & Bunker, have completed sanding and repainting the entire craft, performed maintenance on the drive train, and prepared for winter service under the hawklike direction of Wilfred Bunker. Rick was described as "a perfectionist of yacht quality" and Bob Mailhut said he could be quoted on that!

      Harry and Annie Alley have been in a near continual entertainment mode throughout September with guests Robert and Nana Alley; John, Jane and Marianne Alley; and Terry and Ellen Savage for a barbecue that included lobsters on September 19th. Last week Donna & Cleo Alley and family visited for three days and worked on the cemetery with repairs made to the fence, headstones cleaned and finally trees and brush being cut. For their effort Harry and Annie provided a series of great meals.

      Marvin and Madeline Harris have returned to Florida for the winter months. Their Cranberry home is on the Harding Point Road overlooking Spurling's Cove. James & Isabelle Storey have returned to the island for a week while Jan and Owen Roberts have returned from their vacation in France. We regretfully note that Eric and Debra Yeoman have left the island for the winter months to permit their children to attend school. Debra is the daughter of Arthur Bunker. They have rented the yellow home on the corner of the Beechland Road and Bar Harbor Road in Ellsworth. Son James attends MDI High School and daughter Martha will be schooled at the Ellsworth Middle School.

      The Cranberry General Store, owned by Barbara Stainton of Cranberry, has reduced store hours for the winter months. Beginning this month, the store is open from 7:30 AM to 2:00 PM weekdays, 7:30 AM to 12:30 for Saturdays, and closed on Sundays. Please plan ahead and remember that mail and ferry boat service to all of the Cranberry Isles also switches to a winter schedule (October through April) beginning 19 October.

      The Great Cranberry Library board met in late September with all board members present except for Ed Horvath. The town grant of $1000 has been received. The bill for this past summer's gardening work was authorized for payment which leaves no outstanding debts. The library has Internet services available to all patrons and Barbara Stainton suggested purchasing a new computer table to facilitate operations. Positive discussions also covered some new furniture for patrons to use when reading and a larger card catalog file to improve management of the book collection.

Dateline September 25, 1998

      Ed Horvath, Maurice Philips and Katherine Chaplin, Selectmen for the Town of Cranberry Isles, held their monthly meeting 21 September at the Islesford Neighborhood House. The following topics were discussed:

(1) Deer Committee Report: The whitetail deer population on both Cranberry and Islesford islands is significantly large with the animals grazing among homes as sheep, oblivious to dogs and humans. Rick Alley of Islesford and Debbie Wedge of Cranberry, two members of the Deer Committee, reported on seven options they had developed to reduce the herd size. There are nearly as many opinions on this subjects as residents but two options seemed to prevail:

a. Have a State Biologist visit the islands and quantify the problem with a recommendation of how many animals and which sex need to be reduced, plus provide his findings as to the physical condition of the herd;

b. conduct either a Depredation Hunt using the biologists recommendation(s), or hire a "Sharp Shooter" and have him/her reduce the herd size regardless of animal sex. As expected many residents are against use of a Sharp Shooter and as Ed Horvath stated, "What is the definition of a Sharp Shooter?" Most locals believe they can take care of the problem safely and professionally themselves provided State officials grant permission to do so. No decision was made pending a deer conference to be held in Rockland this fall by the Island Institute concerning all of Maine's offshore islands.

(2) Town Truck: Islesford needs to replace its current truck in preparation for winter snows. A committee composed of Paul Thorman, Cortney Chaplin and Corry Alley will explore options and prices with a recommendation as to what truck should be purchased to meet town needs. The old truck will be offered for sale by bid since it's value is more than $1000.

(3) Cranberry Wharf: Multiple engineering estimates still have not been obtained to determine the extent of repair work required for the town wharf at Great Cranberry. Beverly Sanborn, a former selectman, prepared a grant request which was made available earlier in the year but the question is now open as to fund availability. Mrs. Sanborn has been asked to determine what funds are available to support repairs and this correspondent, being Harbor Master, will seek out firms interested in undertaking a wharf examination.

(4) Tax Liens: The Selectmen instructed the Town Clerk, Francis Bartlett, to begin issuing tax liens for all delinquent property taxes throughout the Isles. A number of tax bills have not been paid for several years.

      During the past week Chris Lane, an Engineer for the State Department of Environmental Protection, visited the Isles to inspect and sample a number of wells for water quality. He is interested in determining if any contamination exists due to fuel oil, gasoline, or other pollutants. Mr. Lane also mentioned that a government program exists to assist homeowners in repairing or replacing above ground fuel oil tanks and/or their supports to prevent a spill. Ed Horvath, Selectman, will have more information on this topic in the coming weeks.

      Carl and Patsy Brooks, Mrs. Ronald (Sue) Lyman, and Veronica Aspenwald have returned to their home on Great Cranberry for the fall season, while Bruce and Margarite Komusin departed for Florida and Jan Murch for Ohio for the winter months.

      Gaile Colby has returned from Sturbridge Village, Mass. She accompanied her daughter, Rhonda, and son-in-law Douglas King, and grandsons Shawn and Michael, for a visit. Douglas is President of Associated True Value Hardware in Ellsworth.

      Preparations for winter are in full swing with supplies of firewood and propane gas being delivered to the islands via barge. R. H. Foster, Inc. has taken the lead over other home fuel dealers in helping residents install bulk propane tanks. For some undisclosed reason several dealers have refused to pursue this opportunity. Grain and hay for livestock and firewood, oil, gas and coal are often seen on the Beal & Bunker barge. Barbara Stainton, owner of Cranberry General, plans on keeping the store open throughout the winter and is in the process of getting in her bulk supplies which is welcomed news to all residents since the store was closed last winter.

Dateline September 11, 1998

      Recent dinner guests of Emily and Lyndon Colby were Christopher and Susan White, their son, Steve and daughter, Heather. Steve also was hosting his girlfriend, Annette, for her first visit to the island. The White family is from upstate New York and spend 10 months of the year at their home on the south side of Great Cranberry. A superb meal of scallops and chocolate cake highlighted the evening.

      Blair and Tracy Colby of 298 Gilmanton Road, Bainstead, New Hampshire 03218 are announcing the birth of their fifth child, Olivier Morgan, born September 4th. With her father performing the delivery, as he has for the other four children, Olivier entered the world weighing 9 pounds, 2 ounces, and was 22 inches long. Blair is the youngest son of Gaile and Royal (Deceased) Colby of Dog Point Road, Great Cranberry. This makes 10 grandchildren for Gaile! Congratulations to Blair & Tracy. I'm sure they would welcome receiving a personal note from you.

      The monthly meeting of the Great Cranberry Futures Group was at the end of August with the following board members present: Gaile Colby, Sonja Colby, Michael Macfarlan, Owen Roberts, David Stainton, Rodman Ward and Christopher White.

      President David Stainton reported that he has had conversations with Annette Naegle of the Island Institute and their report on the forestry project is in draft form and currently being circulated among the parties involved for review. Mr. Stainton also reported that he has had preliminary discussions with David Bunker, President of Beal & Bunker, Inc. and Marge Kilkelley of the Island Institute about potential future subsidization of ferry service to the Cranberry Isles.

      Owen Roberts presented the Treasurer's Report for the Futures Group stating that the Group's cost share of a water pump for the fire department was $312.00. The Great Cranberry Fire Club paid the remaining amount due. Mr. Roberts also reported that the Group has sent a letter to the Town Selectmen in regard to the town parking lot congestion problem. The lot is located adjacent to the main pier. He indicated that the Group has requested Ed Perry (Surveyor) to conduct a survey of the lot boundaries at no cost to the town and the report is pending. With this report in hand, the Futures Group intends to discuss possible actions in depth to correct current parking problems and to seek means of improving the overall appearance of the area.

      Speaking of Town Selectmen, this correspondent was disappointed to find that the monthly selectman's meeting, which is normally held the first Monday of each month, did not take place. Having been told by the First Selectman in late August that Tuesday, September 8th, would be the date in view of Labor Day falling on Monday, September 7th, I showed up at the Town Hall promptly at 9:00AM to find the lights out and no one about. I therefore went to Selectman Horvath's home to find him still in bed, and learned that absently no meeting had been scheduled. I do hope that in the future our elected officials (Ed Horvath, Maurice Phillips, and Katherine Chaplin) take more interest in town government, holding their meetings on schedule with a posted agenda and Clerk's/Treasurer Francis Bartletts' monthly report on finances available. I shall endeavor to report those meetings to you when they occur.

      For readers who are using the World Wide Web and would like to obtain information in the future about the Cranberry Isles, one of our summer residents from Florida, Bruce Komusin, has registered and obtained a web site specifically for the Isles. The address will be: and will contain data on all five of the islands making up the Isles. Mr. Komusin can currently be reached at until the new web page is fully established.

[Editor's Note: the final address:   is now working, and is the preferred address for accessing this site. -BK]

Dateline September 4, 1998

      Whenever an event takes place on one of the Cranberry Isles it is no small undertaking since guests, food, and belongings must be transported by ferry or personal boat from the mainland. When Annie and Harry Alley host a Family Picnic the challenge of keeping everything coordinated becomes even greater. Attending the recent Alley family picnic this year was: Annie, Harry and Mark Alley (son) as hosts; Donna & Cleo Alley; Mike & Anita Alley; David & Laurie Alley; Missy Murphy & Kevin Manheim; Chris & Stacy Alley with son Alan and Amber Alley; Frank, David, Jason, Jarred & Sara Alley; Jessica, Janie, Jeremy, Jennifer & Jodi Murphy; Ellen, Terry and son Terry E. Savage; and finally, Jennifer & Cody Tozier. Terry E. Savage, Jennifer and Cody Tozier are Annie & Harry's grandchildren. The event was a smashing success with plenty of lobsters and drawn butter.

      Ann Watson, granddaughter of Marilyn Frederickson, is spending a few days on the island.

      The town dock was the scene of a recent accident which can happen to anyone and with the victim's permission is discussed to remind each of you that wind and waves while docking or leaving a pier can have its down side. Douglas Frank, who spends his summers here each year, was docking his boat when a wave rolled his craft to starboard against a pier piling just as his hand was between the piling and the edge of the boat. Only two fingers were crushed and fortunately Doctor Paul Liebow, MD was on the pier at the time for quick first aid attention. Having received immediate microsurgery in Bangor Doug's fingers, he tells me, will be fine in a few months.

      Molly Gray recently returned from a six week stay in Zimbabwe, Africa. Molly, a sixteen year old junior at Gould Academy in Bethel, Maine, traveled to Zimbabwe with a California based organization called Global Routes. Global Routes is an organization offering summer programs that incorporate travel and community service.

      Molly spent the first week getting to know her group, while hiking through the Chimanimani mountains. The next three weeks were spent in the village of Manzununu working on a community service project. The group participated in home stays. For Molly, the home stay included living in a mud hut, adjusting to the cultural differences and attempting to communicate and share with her family. The group built a community hall that will be used for meetings and grain storage. The also painted a 12 ft. by 6 ft. map of the world on one of the school buildings. The village was a resettlement community with roughly seventy five families now residing on land that was once owned by one white man. It is a very poor community, thankful for any assistance they receive. "They were so happy to have us there, we were treated like celebrities. Everytime I turned around I was being told that I was a miracle, a blessing from God." says Molly of her home stay.

      After a tearful good-bye the group left the slow rural life of the village and spent the next week and a half viewing the tourist attractions in Zimbabwe. They went on several safaris and spent time working on her bartering skills. They also saw Victoria Falls, one of the seven natural wonders of the world, and later went white water rafting on the Zambezi River. "The village stay was an integral part of the trip, it gave you a true perspective of what Zimbabwe life is like. A tourist traveling through Zimbabwe could go see Victoria Falls and the Great Zimbabwe Ruins and have no clue about what Zimbabwe is really like," says Molly. "The trip was incredible, it gave me a whole different perspective on what is important in life."

      Molly is the daughter of Edward and Jane Gray of Great Cranberry. Children in the Cranberry Isles attend grades K-8 at island schools and high school on the mainland at the school of their choice.

      Autumn is about here with a great time had by all at the Blue Hill Fair. For the Isles, we have noticed an increase in our resident deer population. Carl Wedge, a lifetime respected fisherman on Great Cranberry noticed a ten point buck swimming from Manset to the big island just a few days ago while he fished the Western Way. Deer hunting, or in fact any hunting, is not permitted on the Cranberry Isles and the deer have become quite tame to being around humans. Our herd seems to regulate itself by swimming to and from the mainland as food pressures dictate. Coupled with the two Bald Eagle nests I found last week it isn't hard to understand why life here is simply great!

      Patrick Reed, age 34, of River Falls, Wisconsin is our newest year round resident and employee of the Cranberry Island Boatyard. Pat left Wisconsin seeking a southern climate and upon reaching New Mexico, turned northeast rather than southeast for Florida. Putting aside his navigation skills, David Stainton, President of the Boatyard, has hired him as a Boatright Apprentice following a demonstration of his woodworking skills. We wish him well, and a hearty welcome to the island.

      Finally, while no longer a resident but still very closely associated with Great Cranberry is Steven Spurling of Southwest Harbor. Steve has a boatyard on Dog Point Road and was taken by complete surprise last Friday when he looked up to see his sister and brother-in-law, Sheila and Charlie Kneeland of Stockton Springs hop off the stern of this correspondent's vehicle. Sheila and Steve spent their early years in the second house up from the pier known as the Gertmenian home.

Return to Great Cranberry Island
Return home___