Off the Water: the Making of the Cherryfield Marquees 

by | Mar 1, 2023 | News

Color image of a smiling woman in a room with her arms outstretched

Every few weeks, no matter the weather, the marquee sign outside of the Narraguagus Post 8 of the American Legion in Cherryfield has something to tell you. Inspirational in nature, it is usually a quote from an author or musician, though it could be a funny quip. Other times the marquee shared important information about voting, town deadlines, or the next yard sale. Each message is unique and they are all the work of Jillian, the Sunbeam’s Steward. Since 2017, she has made sure to change the marquee and share a message with anyone driving by. 

During the month of February, Jillian displayed 150 pictures of the marquee at the Northeast Harbor Library. Its messages are meant to be thought-provoking, bridge-building, affirming, and poetic. For many, the sign has become a welcome sight on their way home. “Folks tell me how much they look forward to reading the latest sign,” Jillian says. “I’ve been told that my sign has been a deciding factor for people considering a move to our sweet, little town. It is my punk rock pulpit of good in approximately 16 words or less.” 

Traveling from Bangor, Director of Marketing Kierie Piccininni often pulls over to snap a picture of Jillian’s messages. “Prior to joining the Mission, I’d bump along Route 193, excited to see the marquee’s little dose of wisdom. Now I experience it on a weekly basis during my commute to our Cherryfield campus. It was a delight to learn this living, ever-changing art comes from Jillian.” 

Aboard the Sunbeam, select pictures of the marquee grace the refrigerator. Sandwiched between photos of friends and residents of outer islands, those mingling in or around Jillian’s galley can’t miss them. The messages inspire a brief, pleasant pause to reflect. 

If you missed the show at the library, do not despair. Jillian shared a few of the messages she displayed, including one by a familiar face at the Mission. 

When passing the American Legion in Cherryfield, be sure to look for the marquee. It is on Route 193, on the left as you come into sweet Cherryfield. You may get lucky and spot Jillian and her dog Banana along the way.  

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