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Islesford Historical Society 2010

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Islesford Historical Society
Little Cranberry Island
Islesford, ME 04646

June, 2010

Dear Members and Friends,

The annual meeting of our society will be held at the Islesford Neighborhood House at 7:30PM on Wednesday, July l4th. I hope to see all of you there!

The University of New Hampshire has been studying the history of the cod fishery in the Gulf of Maine. Members of the study team visited Islesford last summer. In the course of this study they have uncovered 35 manuscript fishing logs and agreements for the Cranberry Islands from 1861 to 1865. They find that "Captains include a host of Gilleys. Stanleys and Spurlings" and that "the Hadlock family owned a lot of the vessels."

Project Coordinator Karen Alexander and her colleagues, Bill Levenworth and Jody Fernald will attend our meeting and they will make a presentation titled:


Using log books from Cranberry Isles fishing vessels in the 1860s and other historical material, they will tell the story of fisheries on the islands and around Mount Desert in the age of sail and how people lived, worked and benefited from the sea.

There will also be an opportunity to report on completion of our project to restore the cemetery on Baker Island and to consider any other special projects that we may wish to undertake. Please let me know if you have anything in mind.

Hugh L. Dwelley


P.S. Two pages are enclosed from RALPH'S PAGE that appeared in recent issues of The Newsletter of the Tremont Historical Society.

P.P.S. Please use the enclosed membership form to renew your membership today!

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The following are used with permission from RALPH'S PAGE in the Winter 2009 Edition of The Newsletter of the Tremont Historical Society


at unspecified date in 1913

Editor of the Record:
On a point off from Cranberry Isles, and between it and Islesford, called the Fish Point, lives a family, a man and his wife and five small children. The man was very sick, and they were destitute. People from both islands had to help them. When they needed anything the mother had to put a signal out, and men went from Islesford. One bitter cold day, all the bed clothes they had were on the sick man's bed, and these were very poor and thin.

The Life Saving Station crew heard of it and went to work and made two quilts. Some of the men used sail needles and some used darning needles for tacking the quilts. There are seven men beside the captain. They worked like busy bees, and put the quilts in the frames after dinner and at night they were all done and ready for use. They have a sewing machine at the station now. Where will you find a crew of men with any larger hearts, always ready to help those that are in want?

Capt. Everett Stanley, Oscar E. Jarvis, Albert W. Gilley, Nattie Alley, Austin Pettigrew, Calvin Norton, John M. Bunker, and Reuben Schwartz.


Nervy Work of Husky and Able Islesford Fishermen Save a Valuable Craft from Destruction

About 9 o'clock Wednesday morning last week, Frank E. Stanley's 30-foot power sloop, worth $4,000 broke away from her mooring and was drifting down through the fleet to what looked like certain destruction on that rocky point known as "The Head" when seen by some of the fishermen on shore. Two of the fishermen, Edson Stanley and Fred Phippen, both uncommonly strong active men, grabbed a rope and jumped into a rowboat, in which by chance an anchor had been left. They put off to the drifting sloop, threw over the anchor which on the way they had tied to one end of the rope, and tried to board the sloop with the other end to make it fast.

The sloop was so badly iced up that it was impossible to climb on board in the terrible wind and chop and as they were getting nearly to the end of the rope, Phippen resolved to make one mighty leap and either land inside the sloop or overboard.

He jumped and landed all in a heap inside the boat, and had just end enough left to his rope to take one turn around the mast and by using all his strength snubbed her with less than a foot of water under her keel.

They then succeeded in running another anchor and holding her until the life saving crew, with the help of the other fishermen, pounded her free of ice and warped her back to safety. Captain Stanley of the life-saving crew and a number of the fishermen froze their faces quite badly.

Two launches were sunk at Cranberry Isles, but the only boat to fill here was the new life saving service power surf boat which filled at her mooring for want of a spray hood.


But Plucky Capt. Joy Saved the Mail

Capt. Arthur A. Joy, mail carrier on the water route between Cranberry Isles and Seal Harbor by way of Sutton and Islesford, had a desperate struggle with wind and sea on Monday, and although he saved his life and the mails, his staunch motor-boat, Eleanor M. Joy, valued at $1,000 is sunk in 20 fathoms of water about a mile southeast of Bunker's Ledges, with a hole in her bottom.

Capt. Joy left Cranberry Isles post office at the usual hour Monday morning, making Islesford on time. When pulling away from the wharf his engine slowed down, and before he got it running right, his boat was driven quite a distance off the course and inshore. Capt. Joy felt the boat bump on bottom, but supposed it was nothing serious and headed her across the bay for Seal Harbor. When nearly half way over he was suddenly aware that his craft was aleak by the water coming into the standing room around his feet.

With a slashing northeaster blowing and a heavy sea on, it was a bad predicament but Capt. Joy is no quitter and he started to bail with a bait tub. The water gained at a rapid rate and soon drowned out his engine. Made helpless, the boat drifted rapidly out to sea before the gale. Despite all Capt. Joy could do, the water gained rapidly and soon was at the tops of his boots. Then he declared that his only chance was to abandon the craft, and throwing the mail bags into the small tender towing astern, he followed just as his boat gave a lurch and went down almost under him.

It was then up to him to row for shore, a three-mile fight directly in the teeth of the gale. Capt. Joy's middle name is nerve and grit, and he had made about a mile of the distance when he was picked up by Arthur Clements of Seal Harbor, who saw the mail-carrier's plight and put out to his assistance in his motor boat. Capt. Joy, wet to the skin and much exhausted, nevertheless delivered the mail to the postmaster here before he thought of any comforts for himself.

A telephone message to Deer Isle brought another boat over and the mail route will be kept up as usual.

I thought this collection of stories, as winter is setting in and the Christmas season approaching, might provide a few minutes of pleasant reading by the warm firesides of our members. I ought to pay tribute now to the devoted work of Ralph Stanley, who copied these many stories in longhand from the archives of the Bar Harbor Record. Ed.

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