Sammy Sanford's Restored Cabin

Sammy's Cabin; art by Wini Smart

This tiny one-room cabin was built for Samuel Sanford in the late 1800s by William Preble, his great uncle by marriage. It originally sat in the woods, on Preble's land, overlooking Whistler Cove on the Western Way. Sammy lived there, year-round, until his death in 1933.

The cabin later changed hands several times until O.P. Jackson of Northeast Harbor gave it to the Great Cranberry Island Historical Society in 2012, along with a grant to move it to its current location, nearby Cranberry House. The cabin is newly-furnished as it was in Sammy's time.

Sammy was grandson of Captain Samuel Hadlock, Jr., who created a successful Northern Curiosities show, touring Europe in the early 1800s. Hadlock married a Prussian woman and took her back to Great Cranberry Island. Their daughter Matilda was Sammy's mother. On a specimen-gathering trip to Greenland aboard the Minerva, Capt. Hadlock and his crew were all lost when his ship froze in sea ice.

Sammy ran an island dry goods store, and grew and sold vegetables and fruits. In winter he harvested ice, shipping it to the southern states and Cuba, and storing it in ice houses for local use in summer.

Author Rachel Field first encountered Sammy while picking wild raspberries near his cabin. His sudden appearance startled her, so he remarked "Don't be afraid, you're as save with me as if you was in God's Pocket."

They became friends. Just days before his death, Sammy gave Rachel his grandfather Hadlock's travel journals, inspiring her book, God's Pocket.

Sanford died in his cabin in 1933. Upon hearing this news Rachel immediately returned to the vacant cabin, and was moved to write the poem, And The Place Thereof.

Visit the museum to learn more of Sammy Sanford, William Preble, Rachel Field, and Captain Samuel Hadlock, Jr.

Samuel Sanford   Big Cranberry Island 1912
The cabin is shown in its original location; Sammy is holding a cat.