Scenes of the Early 1900s

on Great Cranberry Island

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Note: All these photos have been downsampled for web use.  I have better versions available for research.

The map legend below shows (by photo number) my best guess as to where the photographers stood and which direction they faced as they took the following photos.

Click on the small image to see an expanded view.

Photo 1

Photo courtesy of Barbara (Spurling) Brooks. She says it is Spurling Point in the background.

On back: "Louise & Nelson Spurling, Cranberry Isles - Maine, 1913"

The Brooks property is on the Main Road; starting from the town dock it's the second (last) house on the right, just before the road turns left and proceeds down the length of the island.  I suspect the photo was taken from behind the house, looking north.  A farmer is clearly seen in the near background; he seems to be pitching hay either onto a cart, or to a horse or cow standing before him.  The distinctive mountains of MDI are clearly visible in the far background.

Photo 2

Photo courtesy of Judy Whitney.  No description.

The boathouses on the west side of The Pool are obvious.  In the middle distance we see several houses along what appears to be a bare Harding Point Road, leading to the Long Point peninsula and the house currently Virginia Murray's.  In the far distance the mountains of MDI.

Photo 3

Photo courtesy of Omer & Annette Mountain.

On back: "Residence of Mr. Elier Spurling & wife Lena"

House in foreground currently owned by Jim Gertmenian & Susan King.  House just behind it owned by Eugene Vance.  This is a view south down the Main Road just after it turns left, coming up from the Town Dock.

Photo 4

Photo courtesy of Omer & Annette Mountain.  No description.

This is obviously taken standing in a field on Spurling Point, in other words, near where photo #1 was taken, but looking southeast.  In the center we see the back of what is currently the Stanley Seimer residence, and the dutch-barn roof home on the left is the first house on the left of the Main Road, currently the Moss residence.  There are tremendous trees in front of that house now.

Photo 5

Photo courtesy of Omer & Annette Mountain.

"Preble Beach"

Taken in Preble Cove looking north and slightly west.  This is the general area where the Hartley and Komusin residences are now.

Photo 6

Photo courtesy of Omer & Annette Mountain.

"Preble Beach"

Taken in Preble Cove looking south.  The boathouse is no longer there.  Directly inland (east) from the boathouse, about 250 feet, the Komusin residence was built in 1989-90.

Photos 7 & 8 (combined)

Photo courtesy of Trudy Bancroft

A panorama looking north towards the Hamor Tea Room, currently the Murch residence.  In the immediate background behind the house we see the thin strip of land leading to the peninsula containing Thrumcap (narrow land jutting off to the right) and Fish Point (invisible beyond the trees on the left.)  The right side of the panorama shows Dead Man's Point.  The far distance reveals the classic MDI mountain profile.

Photo 9

Photo courtesy of Nancy Lea.

On back: "View across the pool from 'The Ways' - belongs to Nancy Lea"

Sorry about the poor quality.  This photo is questionable, as to where it was taken from.  At least eight structures (houses, barns, shacks, and boathouses) are visible on the far shore, and a large house or boathouse, as well as a dock and fenced field evident on the near shore.

The Leas have property on the west side of The Pool.  I think perhaps this was taken from Fish Point, on the east side of The Pool, looking west towards the Lea's on the west side.  But there is no boathouse, dock, or fenced field there on the east side now, as in the photo on the near shore.  If my guess is correct, it explains why most of the ships are facing left (they are thus headed into The Pool from its entrance on the right, beyond the photo) except the one ship being loaded (perhaps with lumber?) and getting ready to exit right.

1 Jan. 2000 - I received this note from Charles Liebow:

Hi.  Your photo from Mrs Lea I believe shows the Thomas Bunker wharves on the site where Mrs Lea's house is.  If you look carefully on the right hand side of the photo I think you will see the Richman house with the roof half covered in snow.

George Vaux has the original and he dated it at about 1852 mostly on the basis of the photo of the Express at the same wharf which was with this photo.  Islesford looks very funny in this photo but the Fish Point house is right where it ought to be.  Best, Chuck.

If this is true, then my original arrow corresponding to photo #9 on the map above is wrong, and it should be drawn starting on the west side of The Pool and facing northeast, towards Fish Point and Islesford.  I have added both arrows for now, and will investigate the view later.

Photo 10


Photo courtesy of Ruth Westphal.  She says it was taken in 1910, as her house is visible but doesn't have chimney, and she knows her house was constructed in 1910 (though not for her.)

Taken from Schoolhouse Hill (just off Main Road, on left coming from the dock, just past Harding Point Road.)  View, looking north, shows many of the houses along the Main Road (perspective-collapsed.)  The house furthest to the right and towards the back (dutch-barn roof) is the back of the current Moss residence, the front of which is in photo #4.  The first white house (with a peaked dormer) to the left of Moss is the front of the current Seimer residence, the back of which is in photo #4.

Click annotated to see the houses labled with their current residents.

Photo 11

Photo courtesy of Trudy Bancroft.

Taken from the oldest rusticator house on the island, currently Sue Lyman's residence.  Shows a sweeping view north across almost the whole of Great Cranberry Island.  Virginia Murray's house on Long Point is clearly seen (as on photo #2.)  The left side of the photo reveals several boathouses on the west side of The Pool.  The Bubbles of MDI are in the center background.