Union Meeting House
also known as
Great Cranberry Island
The Cranberry Isles Mutual Improvement and Benevolent Society, forerunner of the present Ladies Aid, forms on 19 March 1861 for the purpose of raising funds to build a house of worship on Great Cranberry Island.
Around Christmas 1865 the president of the Society reports they had $875.97 on hand, enough to start the work. The contract called for three partial payments: $1200 on completion, $1000 after six months, and $1000 after a year, making a total cost of $3200.
The Union Meeting House was dedicated 11 September 1866.
The steeple blew off February 1878, but was repaired.
The bell was installed 8 December 1898, and rung for the first time that night at midnight. See this poem.
The church was reorganized as the Congregational Church of Cranberry Isles on 30 August 1899.
The original round steeple was struck by lightning and destroyed around 1922. Barbara Brooks remembers it was when she was about ten years old. No fire started; the steeple just exploded. It was rebuilt square and higher -- and probably with a lightning arrestor on the metal weathervane.
In 19??, loudspeakers were installed in the steeple, and an electronic carillon in the front storage room. The device automatically played recorded bell music at set times. It went off accidentally once, which inspired a humorous poem.
The roof of the square steeple was repaired in the summer of 2007. At that time the loudspeakers and carillon were removed as they had not been used since at least 1980.
Church Account from The Island of Mount Desert Register with The Cranberry Isles 1909-10
Religious Life by Velma Teel
Early Church History (anon.) - a curious piece
The Union Church of Great Cranberry Island by Janet Roberts
|Pastor||Term of service|
|Rev. Charles Whittier||1893 - 1894|
|Rev. Charles Elliott Harwood||7 Feb 1894 - 27 Mar 1897|
|Rev. Charles Nelson Davie
||30 Sept 1897 - Nov 1904
|Rev. Alexander Peter McDonald||9 Oct 1905 - 30 Sept 1906|
|Rev. Charlton B. Boles||1908 - ???|
|Rev. Fred W. Tingley
||1 Apr 1911 - 17 Oct 1913|
|Rev. Albert D. Knight
||20 Oct 1914 - 1919|
|Prof. Charles Gordon Cumming||June through Sept,
1920, 1921, 1922, 1925 - 1931
|Rev. Daniel H.E. Fox
||1931 - 1935
|Rev. James Belcher Ford||22 Sept 1935 - 1 Oct 1939|
|Rev. Melvin Hutchins||19 May 1940 - 1 May 1951|
|Dr. Charles Gordon Cumming||1951 - at least 1960|
|Rev. Thomas Powell
||17 Sep 2013 -
There are a total of 30 pews, and since each pew can seat 4, a maximum capacity of 120 people.