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Frequently Asked Questions

Where are the Gilley Houses?

Our houses are on Sutton Island which is part of the Town of Cranberry Isles, a cluster of four islands off of Mount Desert Island (MDI) in the "down east" section of coastal Maine. MDI is home to Acadia National Park and has many recreational opportunities, restaurants and shopping amenities.

How do I get to Sutton?

By car:

Drive to either Northeast or Southwest Harbor on Mount Desert Island (MDI) and park in one of their long term parking lots. Then take the ferry or water taxi service (available at both harbors) out to Sutton Island.  

Other forms of transportation:

Take a flight or a Greyhound bus to Bangor, the nearest big city (about 1.5 hours away from the harbors). There is also a small airport in Bar Harbor which has small flights to/from Boston (20 minutes from the harbors). Both airports have taxi and rental car service which you can take to the harbors which service Sutton. Once you get to Northwest or Southeast Harbor, take a ferry or water taxi out to the island.

Where can I leave my car while I am on Sutton?

Both Northeast and Southwest have long term parking opportunities. For Northeast there is a lot in front of the police station among other options. In Southwest there is parking behind the town offices.

Where can I get groceries?

Many renters shop at the supermarkets in Ellsworth as they pass through on their way to Sutton. Northeast and Southwest harbors also have markets. Great Cranberry Island, half a mile by ferry from Sutton, has a small store that can obtain almost any foodstuff with three days warning.  Andrew Chalmers, the son of the caretaker, can be hired to pick up groceries from this store and deliver them to either house 

How do I get my belongings and myself around the island?

Walking is the way to get around Sutton.  There are several garden carts available for you to transport luggage or groceries between the dock and the houses. 

What about emergencies? 

Sutton is served by the Cranberry Isles Fire Department and there is a Coast Guard fireboat stationed in Southwest Harbor. EMTs are on call on both Cranberries and there is medical helicopter coverage for the area.

What about medical facilities?

Northeast and Southwest Harbor have clinics as well as private doctors. MDI Hospital is in Bar Harbor on the eastern shore of Mount Desert Island.

What about internet and television?

Both houses have broadband, TVs (not smart) and dvd players. Broadcast tv stations are not available. 


What if there is a problem in one of the Gilley Houses?

The manager, Ted Lyman (802-578-1730), should be called or texted immediately and he will address the difficulty. If he can't be reached you may call Joe Chalmers, the caretaker, at 207-244-7490.


What is Sutton like?

The island is a mile long, half a mile wide and has no roads or stores. It is semi-wild and crisscrossed with walking paths. Some track along the shore, which has cobble beaches and dramatic cliffs and rock formations. Views as you circuit the island clockwise are of Southwest Harbor and sunsets, Northeast Harbor, Somes Sound and the mountains of Acadia, the open Atlantic, then the other Cranberries and the Western Way. Other paths take you into the interior of quiet, mossy woods. There are twenty seasonal houses and a public town dock for water taxies, ferries and private boats. 


What are the other Cranberry Islands like?

Two of the islands are inhabited year round and can be reached from Sutton by the ferries. Great Cranberry has a small grocery two minutes from the town dock and a main road that takes you the length of the island, past a small restaurant, an island museum and a gift shop. A free tour by stretch golf cart starts at the wharf. Little Cranberry has the village of Islesford with a wharf that features a gallery, gift shop, pottery shop and restaurant. The interior has a museum, post office, fine little church, children’s playground and another gallery. The biking is excellent on both islands, and you are welcome to bring bicycles on the ferries or the water taxis.  The fourth island, Bakers Island, is part of Acadia National Park. The north side of the island has the original Gilley house, light house and 150-year-old cemetery. The south shore is a spectacular jumble of large rocks with rolling Atlantic breakers. You can visit by hiring a water taxi or joining a tour originating from Northeast Harbor.

Where can I find further details and get other questions answered?

There is a more complete information packet available, including a contact sheet. Get in touch with Ted Lyman (802-278-1730, to request it or for further questions.

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