Star Island Corporation

Star Island Receives $25k Grant for Thaxter Museum


On September 15, Star Island received a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to strengthen the care of artifacts in the Celia Thaxter Museum located on Star Island, one of the Isles of Shoals.

This $24,990 grant from the IMLS’s Museums for America program will bolster the facilities and staffing needed to ensure the Celia Thaxter Museum’s entire collection, including important historical artifacts, are properly maintained.

The Celia Thaxter Musuem on Star Island currently holds such artifacts as hand painted pottery by poet Celia Thaxter, tool remnants from Native American activity, and hand drawn maps. The museum focuses on three major time periods of the Isles of Shoals: the Gosport Fishing Village, the Grand Hotel Era, and its current use as a religious and educational retreat center.

“Our rich history surrounds everyone visiting Star Island, and we are excited and honored to receive this support from IMLS,” said Joe Watts, CEO of the non-profit Star Island Corporation. “These funds will strengthen our ability to engage our visitors in deepening their understanding of an integral part of US history.”

“IMLS helps museums provide opportunities for visitors to experience science, history, art, technology and living collections in unique and interactive ways,” said IMLS Acting Director Maura Marx. “With this federal support, museums all over the country will be better equipped to care for their collections, create exhibitions and learning experiences for visitors, and contribute to a better quality of life for their communities.”

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums. Our mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Our grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visit

Star Island is one of the nine Isles of Shoals located six miles off the coast of New Hampshire and Maine. Home to the historic Oceanic Hotel and a fishing village from the 1600’s, a visit to Star Island is a step back in time. The 43 acre island is owned and operated by the nonprofit Star Island Corp. During the summer months, Star Island welcomes families and individuals to explore Star’s rugged beauty for a day or take part in weekly programs with a variety of themes such as spirituality, world affairs, ecology and the arts. Star Island is an all inclusive vacation retreat where guests are encouraged to unplug and connect with each other and nature.