The Friends of the Islesford Historical Museum Present


The Islesford Historical Museum
in Acadia National Park

On June 21, 2015, The Friends of the Islesford Historical Museum working in cooperation with Acadia National Park opened a community-curated exhibition celebrating the men and women who have fished the waters around Little Cranberry Island for generations.

The exhibition is located at the Islesford Historical Museum, where the rich history of the Cranberry Isles has been celebrated since 1927.

Preserving History

Visitors to the exhibition are able to step on board the stern of a lobster boat and handle the tools used daily by fishermen; enjoy a video starring several lobstermen answering questions about their trade; and see boat models, paintings, buoys, and hooked rugs created by the fishermen and their families. The exhibit will provide insights into the challenging work and the many rewards of lobster fishing in Downeast Maine.


With assistance from Friends of Acadia in Bar Harbor, The Friends of the Islesford Historical Museum formed in 2014 to work with Acadia National Park to rehabilitate and maintain the museum, a landmark building. The Friends of the Islesford Historical Museum’s goal is to re-kindle interest in this historic structure among year-round and summer residents of the Town of Cranberry Isles. The group hopes to raise funds to upgrade the building so that more historical objects may safely be exhibited there.

Photo Credit: Friends of Acadia / Aimee Beal Church

Historical Photos

Islesford is located on Maine’s easternmost island that remains inaccessible by car and yet sustains a year-round population.

Early Harbor - Bryant
Lee's Fishing Boat
Francis Fernald aboard the Blue Fin


Most residents of Islesford continue to make their living from the ocean just as their ancestors did.
Jack Rosebrook
Fritz Fernald
Clarence H. Spurling
Ted Spurling Sr.
Warren Fernald

Current Photos

Lobstermen and Women Today

Among today’s fishermen are descendants of Islesford’s earliest settlers.


With magnificent views of Mount Desert Island as their backdrop and nothing but the open sea to the east, Islesford fishermen harvest many thousands of lobsters annually and ship them to all parts of the world.

Tall ship anchored off Little Cranberry Island, surrounded by hundreds of lobster buoys.

Lobstermen use these brightly colored buoys to mark the location of their traps.

Bruce Fernald

As citizen scientists they are leaders in the quest to understand lobster habitat and sustainability.

This exhibit explores how a community of highly creative and independent fishermen and women has united to work in harmony for the good of their industry and their community.

Visiting Islesford


Visitors approach Little Cranberry Island by mail boat, private boat, ranger-led tour boat, or water taxi slipping in amongst the working fishing fleet and then stepping ashore into a real, Downeast fishing village.

Things to do

A restaurant, art galleries, post office, and the Islesford Historical Museum are all an easy walk from the dock. After visiting the museum, visitors may stroll on the beach or bike the island’s roads to experience this unique small island community.


The Islesford Historical Museum is open daily June 15th through September 6th from 11:00 am until 4:00 pm and September 7th through September 30th 9:00 am until 3:00 pm.

Credit: Museum Collection. David Restivo/NPS photo.

BOATS & BUOYS: LOBSTERING ON LITTLE CRANBERRY ISLAND is open through September 30th, 2015, and will reopen in June, 2016.
Admission is free.

Ferries and Boats

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Latest News Watch the Exhibit Take Shape

JSK | 14 July
Foggy day today at at the Lobster Co-op
Read More
Rosamond Rea | 5 May
If you look closely you can see that there is still snow on the mountains of Mount Desert Island!
Read More
Wind Song
Rosamond Rea | 2 May
Photo taken 5/2/2015
Read More
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Acadia National Park
Islesford Historical Museum
Little Cranberry Island
Maine 04646
Rosamond Rea
Exhibit Project Manager