Acadia National Park and Friends of Acadia Present Awards to the Friends of the Islesford Historical Museum

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, September 19, 2016
CONTACT:      Lisa Horsch Clark, Friends of Acadia Development Director,

ISLESFORD, MAINE —  More than 30 residents of the Cranberry Isles, along with representatives of Acadia National Park (ANP) and Friends of Acadia (FOA), enjoyed brilliant September sunshine and fabulous island and ocean views during the open-air award presentation of  the 2016 William Otis Sawtelle Award and the 2016 Acadia National Park Partner Award to the Friends of the Islesford Historical Museum.

The awards recognize the collaborative partnerships and private philanthropy that resulted in three exhibits at the museum: “Boats & Buoys: Lobstering on Little Cranberry Island,” “The Town of Cranberry Isles,” and the redesign of “Memories of a Maine Island.” “Boats & Buoys,” a community-curated exhibit celebrating the past and present of lobster fishermen and women on the island, opened in 2015 and will run through 2017 and is the Friends of the Islesford Historical Museum’s contribution to the Acadia Centennial Celebration.

In addition, the popularity of the exhibits has reinvigorated National Park Service commitment to the museum building, which is in need of upgrades so that more historical objects can be safely stored and exhibited there.

The 2016 Acadia National Park Partner award was given jointly to the Friends of the Museum and to the Acadia Centennial Task Force, for outstanding partnership efforts for 2016.

Mike Madell, ANP deputy superintendent, Lynne Dominy, ANP chief of interpretation, and David MacDonald, president of FOA, together made the presentation. The common theme in their remarks was how the NPS and the Islesford community, led by the Friends of the Islesford Historical Museum, has come together to “bring new life” into the museum. Noted MacDonald, “the Boats & Buoys exhibit is a great example of celebrating the past and inspiring the future of Acadia,” in reference to the official tag line of the Acadia Centennial celebration.

Lending credence to MacDonald’s comment, a group of 4th graders from Hancock arrived to tour the exhibit and spend time on the island just as the award ceremony got underway. Their visit was part of the nationwide “Every Kid in a Park” initiative to enable all 4th graders and their families to experience federally-protected lands free of charge.

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 museum has come alive again,” as one resident put it. “It reflects what this island is all about.” Added Rosamond Rea, the project manager for the exhibit, “none of this would be possible without the generosity, support, and participation of the Cranberry Isles communities.”

The William Otis Sawtelle Award was established by Friends of Acadia and Acadia National Park in 1986 to recognize and honor Cranberry Isles residents who have been dedicated to preserving the history of Islesford and the Cranberry Islands. The first recipient of the award was Louise Sawtelle Libby, daughter of William Otis Sawtelle.

For more information about the Islesford Historical Museum, visit