Below is a compilation of archival documents and accounts of the bygone days that provide a look back at the humble, historical beginnings of our Little Cranberry Yacht Club. Many of us, still involved, who had the opportunity to enjoy the spoils of the founders’ work and inspiration, have great and lasting memories. Much of our enjoyment on the islands, and on the water, is a product of our experiences competing on Wednesdays and Saturdays, participating in the often agonizing knot tying classes, and socializing with the “Old Salts” on various porches and living rooms. A great part of all of us indelibly shaped by our time associated with the LCYC.

Early History

The following historical documentation was written by John Merrill Jr.

Little Cranberry Yacht Club, Inc.

During the late 1950’s, small sailboats moored in the harbor increased both in numbers and variety, and interest in sailing grew apace. Competitive instincts being man’s natural heritage, by 1959 it was clear that boatowners were eying each other’s craft, measuring potential and relative speeds. The fire was ready to be lit, and when a writer posted a notice in July 1959 calling for a meeting of those interested in a yacht club, the response was immediate.

During the summer of 1959, three or four races were held using handicaps to permit racing between dissimilar boats. The same system was used in 1960 by which time the racing fleet had increased to twelve boats. In that same year, the Baker island Picnic Race (now the Ida Smallwood Trophy Race) was organized. Ten boats participated, and some fifty people attended.

In 1961, the question arose as to whether the Club should continue in its informal unincorporated status. The persuasive urgings of Mary Merrill and Dr. John Brooks led, in 1962, to their being appointed to investigate the legal niceties of incorporation. Their report was accepted, articles of incorporation duly drawn and approved, and a meeting of the incorporators held on August 26, 1963. The original incorporators were: Paul Fisher, Mary Merrill, John Brooks, Dorothy Brooks, Franklin Reece, Malcolm Sawtelle, A.J. Smith, and John Merrill, Jr.

The artistic talents of the club members were put to the test during the winter of 1961-62. As a result of this open competition to select a club burgee, many designs were entered (each of which received at least one vote). The overwhelming favorite, however, was submitted by Arthur Brooks and his design was adopted in 1962.

I would be indebted to anyone willing and able to provide additional information with respect to the year 1959-62. Based on folklore it seems probable that Paul Fisher and I alternated during those years as Commodore and Chairman of the race Committee but other offices remain a blank. Definitive information would be appreciated before our collective memories fail entirely.

J. Merrill, Jr. – Historian

Burgee Competition

As mentioned in the historical document above, the Club burgee contest of ’61-’62 received multiple submissions. Many of these wonderful and creative submissions can be viewed by visiting the Islesford library and sorting through Paul Fisher’s old archival briefcase. Its worth the visit down memory lane!

As the discerning reader can see in the small drawing, there has occasionally been some discrepancy between the number of cranberries in the fog (white portion) and on the land (green portion). In most of the old photos, and as our burgee stands today, three red cranberries appear in the fog. I’ll let the reader decide which of the islands are represented as being “in the fog”!


Over the history of the LCYC, many trophies have been created and awarded. Below is a list; both of those now retired, and of those being awarded still today.

Ida Smallwood Trophy
Presented to the winner of the Baker’s Island Race

Franklin A. Reece, Jr. Memorial Trophy
Presented to the winner of the Old Salts Race


George Shirey Memorial Trophy
Presented to the winner of the Junior Skipper Race

Bright Merrill Bowl
In memory of Nick Bright and Andy Merrill, this award is given to someone like Nick and Andy who wants to be around boats: not necessarily the best sailor or someone who wants to race all the time, but someone who enjoys sailing and wants to mess around in boats.

Zukerman Bowl
To the junior sailor who showed the greatest of the following: enthusiasm, interest in sailing, good sportsmanship, most progress in sailing skills, consideration of others, high standard of character and cooperation.



1990 – Malcolm Harrison
1991 – Mo Zukerman
1992 – Mo Zukerman
1993 – Lise Pratt
1994 – Lise Pratt
1995 – Dedi Whitaker
1996 – Dedi Whitaker
1997 – Jay Bisgyer
1998 – Jay Bisgyer
1999 –
2000 –
2001 – Clayton Bright
2002 – Clayton Bright
2003 – Frank Reece
2004 – Frank Reece
2005 – Frank Reece
2006 – Cheryl Sholl
2007 – Cheryl Sholl
2008 – Eleanor Bright
2009 – Eleanor Bright
2010 – Eleanor Bright
2011 – Dennis Encarnation
2012 – Dennis Encarnation
2013 – Dennis Encarnation
2014 – Joe Merrill
2015 – Joe Merrill

1964 – Paul Fisher
1965 – Paul Fisher
1966 – John Brooks
1967 – John Brooks
1968 – Francis Brooks
1969 – Francis Brooks
1970 – A.J. Smith
1971 – John L. Merrill, Jr.
1972 – John L. Merrill, Jr.
1973 – Philip Bowditch
1974 – Philip Bowditch
1975 – Paul Fisher
1976 – Paul Fisher
1977 – Dorothy Brooks
1978 – Dorothy Brooks
1979 – Twinky Smith
1980 – Twinky Smith
1981 – Helen Merrill
1982 – Helen Merrill
1983 – Hal Whitaker
1984 – Hal Whitaker
1985 – George Shirey
1986 – George Shirey
1987 – Richard Hill
1988 – Richard Hill
1989 – Malcolm Harrison