Wallpaper April 2009

Wallpaper April 2009

Last month’s shot of the Brockville Narrows is a particularly meaningful one for me. When I first flew up the River on a random flight with a couple of friends in 1992, this was my first glimpse of the Thousand Islands. As you probably know it had a profound impact, changing the course of my life. A serendipitous accident.

Last Month's Image

This is almost exactly the view condominiums in the Tall Ships Landing development will enjoy. Tall Ships (www.TallShipsLanding.com) is a major Brockville project currently in its final planning stages which will add a lot of quality to the region. Beyond condominiums with boat slips which will raise the bar on maintenance-free River living, it will include a boutique hotel and spa, restaurant, marina and an innovative Discovery Center whose focus will be on our Thousand Islands.

Just as the Antique Boat Museum has done so effectively in Clayton, it will add interest and value to the region while building a greater appreciation for it. It also offers a great solution for islanders who don’t want to give up River life, but would like a less complicated lifestyle.

Several responses correctly identified the scene and shared some great stories, but this one from Jim Kidd jumped out at me as this month’s winner:

There is no question, the picture is the Brockville Narrows. More than fifty years ago I was invited (by my then girlfriend and now wife) to Fernbank for a weekend. Their cottage looked out on Picnic (Stovin) Island.

During my stay, the two of us went off to Everest Island, between Stovin and Cockburn Islands for fishing and sunning. I fished while she sunned! Every once in awhile I would return to my tackle box and rummage through it for a different lure. She was reading and sunning and not paying much attention to my mutterings such as “maybe this lure will catch something.” I tried several different lures to no avail.

Unbeknownst to her, I had placed in a beautiful little Tiffany box, the engagement ring I hoped she would accept, in my tackle box. So I fished (pardon the pun) it out and said “Do you think this will catch something?” Needless to say, it worked!

Three sons, six grandchildren and thousands of enjoyable times later in this beautiful area of the Thousand Islands, the Brockville Narrows is our favorite place to be.

Jim Kidd, Yalaha, FL

Great story Jim and quite a catch! A set of prints is on its way and another awaits the best story which also identifies this month’s scene.


Ian Coristine

Wallpaper April 2009

Download wide-angle version


I believe this is the Brockville Narrows.  With Skelton Island on the right and Refugee Island on the left.  My family has summered in Chippewa Bay since 1887.  Boat rides to Brockville for lunch or dinner were always part of the summer.  With the new customs regulations now in effect we don’t go as much as we once did.  My Mother would tell the story of a day trip to Brockville when she was a little girl.  They were in the family’s old Fay Bowen launch and the wind came up while they were in Brockville.  The seas were big by the time they got to Crossover light.  My grandmother was not sure they were going to make it and she asked the boatman who was the strongest swimmer to save my mother if they all ended up in the water.  Later they found out that the lighthouse keeper at Crossover was watching their progress to make sure they got to calmer waters.  They were very grateful to make it around Chippewa Point and home.  Mom always taught us to respect the beauty and power of the River.

Susan Bryant, Redding, Connecticut and Atlantis Is posted on: Tuesday, March 24, 2009

This shot is looking west up the Brockville Narrows and beyond to the crossover. I grew up in this area (Swift Waters - mainland north of Smith - second island on right). The first Island on the south side is Refugee and the last is DeRottenberg. Across from the west end of DeRottenberg is Molly's Gut Where I spent my teens and early twenties at a rented cottage. One of my favourite memories is when Gary Box, a close friend of mine (with his brother Glen spotting) pulled one of our buddies on waterskis from Jones Creek to Molly's Gut on a rope with no handle. He just wrapped the rope around his hands and held on. We had to unwrap the rope from his hands as you can imagine. Before they returned to the creek, we fashioned a handle out of a hammer handle and the same friend skied back. (after he had regained feeling in his hands) At the extreme west end of this view we would find your island which we explored on occasion as we did most islands in this area.

Thank you for sharing these photos with us.

Geoff Earle posted on: Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I'll start you off with a guess that you are looking upstream in the upper end of the Brockville Narrows. I don't have a chart with me to consult, but the nearest island on the left is Stovin or the next one to the west. I recall many years ago entering the harbor on the south side of Stovin in a strong westerly. We were in an O'Day ketch. With the strong cross winds and never having been there before, it was a white-knuckler. Full throttle through the entrance and full reverse to get her stopped once inside. Lovely island; one of our favorites.

Dick Withington posted on: Tuesday, March 24, 2009

This time of year when the ice is starting to melt it is great to see shots like this to remind us summer is coming. What a great shot of the Brockville narrows looking up river. With Stovin and Sparrow islands on the south side as well as De Rottenburg in the back ground. Just north and ahead of the Canadian Miner heading down river (just out of frame) is our neighbors’ favorite fishing hole. Many bass have been taken from this secret spot however very few by one of my neighbors, as a result we affectionately call this part of the river “bitter bass bay” Thanks for the great website and the amazing photos.

Pat Davison posted on: Tuesday, March 24, 2009

My guess is that we are looking Southwest up the Brockville Narrows with Skelton Island in the right foreground and the Needles Eye in the middle distance. The downbound laker would be almost to Brockville. When our grandchildren visit, the first thing that they do is to motor down to Stovin Island to jump off the rock (and sometimes the lighthouse). Your print of that activity graces our livingroom. Last week the wind  and mild weather broke up the ice in the shipping channel. Yesterday we had a large Coast Guard air boat pass under the cliff. We have seen the eagles (2) several times in the last few days.

Tub Tolton, Elizabethtown, ON posted on: Tuesday, March 24, 2009

This shot is looking west up the Brockville Narrows, islands to the south side of the channel are refugee, Cockburn, Stovin, Sparrow. McDonald point and Bay upper right, can't remember the islands in the north chain. I spent my summers as a kid with my grandmother on McDonald point and jumping off the light house on Stovin. After all the places I have traveled to in the world this is still my favorite place in the world. I look at it everyday on John's web cam. Ian knows whom I am talking about.

Peter Clarke posted on: Tuesday, March 24, 2009

After spending too much of my work day pondering my new screen saver, I can only think of the Brockville Narrows looking up River towards Jones Creek, Crossover and Dark Island. The current is swift, the water cold and the ambiance is outstanding. My summers spent in this area have influenced me my whole life. I feel truly blessed to have spent my childhood exploring the area.

Karen Andrews, Austin, TX posted on: Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Ah the playground of my youth. I remember fishing this area from my father's cedar strip canoe. I could maneuver in and around the islands from one side to another. My favorite spot was just to the north near Chubb Island, where the Bass fishing was fantastic. We also were quite adept at dodging golf balls being struck from the nearby Brockville Country Club. The older kids who were members at the time thought it was somewhat amusing to launch their shots in our direction. This channel also ran up to Stovin Island where we could slip in unnoticed for a quick swim and then back to fishing. Another challenge that we were fond of was to try and navigate our way past the quick running current that swept through the large rock at the top of the picture. This was a challenge that not many enjoyed success. One last place in the picture was Molly's Gut, where the large crib just beneath the surface offered the best Small mouth fishing in the area. It did not take very long to limit out in that spot. Thanks for the memories, I don't get on the river as much as I used to.

Peter Hickling, Brockville, ON posted on: Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I believe we are looking at a downbound freighter departing the Brockville Narrows with Skeleton Island off the Port Stern.

Bill Johnson posted on: Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I believe this is taken from the air just east of Oriental island, in the Brockville Narrows looking Southwest. On the right are Smith, xx, Harvey Island and it looks up into McDonald Bay. The river continues up past Fernbank, Needle's Eye and Hillcrest into Molly's Gut hidden by the trees. In the distance on the center-right one can see the "five mile light" and the range light off Brockmere Cliffs.

The first island on the left I believe is Refugee, followed by a number of the Brock group of Islands named after British Generals from the nineteenth century.

 I really did not realize how winding the shipping channel was along here. In a power boat on the river it seems just a straight run up the channel on the return from ice cream in Tunnel Bay after dinner.

 Summer will soon be here and the boats will be launched once again.

Peter Rutherford, Brockville, ON posted on: Friday, March 27, 2009

I looked at this picture many times and the scene was unfamiliar as they are almost every month for me. I can't claim to be an Islander but I did manage to spend fair amount of time on the water and the on the shores of the thousand islands. After looking at this picture and not really thinking about it, the scene finally became obvious to me. This area is the Sifton's estates just downriver from Browns Bay and Upriver from Jones Creek. I worked as a boat mechanic for Ed Huck Marine back in the early 1990s and the Siftons were among the most prominent customers that they had. The Siftons had a very long relationship with Ed huck Marine and they bought all their boats and water toys from them. As a mechanic, I would have to go to the boat house that you can see in the bay and help launch the boats in the summer and put them to bed in the fall.

Mike Cox posted on: Saturday, March 26, 2011

Pretty close to where I grew up, spend my vacations as well as a place called Raleigh Island. Looking up river, the point of land on the far side of the small bay is what I have always referred to as Sifton Point. I beleive the chunk of land with the brown cottage on the near side of the bay is Whitney Point. A great 'calm river' photo of the river just off of the Sifton property but during a high SW wind the waves right there can be stunning due to the long stretch of open water. The Amature Islands and Dark Island are out of the picture to the left side and the mouth to Jones Creek is just off to the right. The islands in the distance to name a few are Corn, Little Corn, Grape and Griswold. If anyone remembers the movie Joshua Then and Now (filmed in the 80's), it was partially filmed at this location and specifically the Sifton property on the far point. For weeks there were lots of actors, extras, movie equipment and excitment. One of the needs for the movie was to have some boats floating out on the river as background. Fortunately one my boating buddies had a sailboat that qualified and we were actually paid to moor the boat off shore, stay out of sight and do nothing. We could not believe our good fortune. We were always looking for an excuse to get out on the water and we excelled at doing nothing so we got the part right away. No movie credits however and no fame.

David Tolton posted on: Saturday, March 26, 2011

Awesome! Keep the backgrounds coming!

John Buzyniski posted on: Thursday, April 02, 2009

I'm not sure where it is exactly. What I do know is that I want to be there, instead of here!

Rich Calabrese posted on: Saturday, March 26, 2011

Awwwhhhh!!! I LOVED last month's fish story! And definitely NOT the one that got away!

Patty Mondore, Janesville, NY posted on: Thursday, April 02, 2009

Just found your website today. Haven't explored it very far yet, but I'm loving what I'm seeing! I started with the earliest entries first and was disappointed that you did not have hi-res wide format photos, but now seeing the more recent entries -- Thank You!!!!

posted on: Wednesday, April 08, 2009

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One afternoon at a book signing, a lady shared with me a profound statement. "The River chooses some". Those of us who were chosen, spend winters longing to get back. To help my winter longings and yours too, each winter month I enjoy sharing a computer screensaver image to help infuse a little summer warmth into your day. I also outline the latest additions to ThousandIslandsLife.com online magazine. If you would like to receive these images and updates, please add your email address to the notification list using the form below. It will not be shared elsewhere.