Wallpaper March 2011

Wallpaper March 2011

Responses to last month’s scene of Millionaire’s Row were eclipsed by those still coming in from January's view of Carleton Island and Villa. Paul Malo and I have always tried to expose this little known treasure - Carleton Villa - through our books. It’s highly likely the Villa, one of the earliest yet least known of the 1000 Islands “castles,” helped inspire much of the amazing architecture downstream as Gilded Age visitors aboard steamboats passed it on their way downriver from trains arriving at Cape Vincent. That concept would have been reenforced when passing Charles Emery's Calumet Castle at Clayton. It wasn't long before Millionaire's Row responded in kind.

Many people have expressed a fascination with the Villa and the hope it can be saved. Andy Greene of Greene Structures, shared his estimates of what it would take to stabilize the building in the January comments section. While substantial, the numbers are less than one might have expected. I’ll continue to post new comments on the Carleton Island wallpaper page in case you’re interested in following this story.


Wallpaper February 2011

Back to last month’s scene of Millionaire’s Row. I think this recollection from Jeff Crouse is worth spotlighting.

"My Great Grandfather, Stephen K. Bresee used to own Imperial Island shown in the lower left corner (not Boldt’s mother-in-law’s but the one above it) of the photo. He passed away in 1936 so I never had the privilege of meeting him nor was I ever lucky enough to visit the castle that was on the island at the time. The island was sold after Bresee’s death and remained outside the family until sometime in the 50’s. During that time the castle fell into disrepair as did so many other island estates. There are a number of pieces of furniture in one of the local Alex Bay hotels bearing a very unique crown design which my grandmother swore came from her father’s castle. My uncle Bill Dunn (Bresee’s grandson) eventually brought the island back into the family and unfortunately had to raze the old castle and in the process expand the property to its present size. He and his wife built a small cottage and a ramp so Bill could pilot his seaplane in and out of the river. Bill eventually sold the property in the 60’s in a trade for property in the backwaters of the Admiralty Group."

Jeff Crouse, Liverpool, NY

Many thanks Jeff. A set of 8 x 10 prints is headed your way.

Continuing the current trend of sharing images of recognizable places on the River, I’ll share this shot of TI Park in hopes that it will generate some interesting recollections about a delightful village which earned a listing on the National Registry of Historic Places in 1982.

I might mention that I keep running into Canadians who live or summer nearby who don’t realize that TI Park is just minutes from the bridge, a fascinating step back in time and in Thousand Islands history. Make time for lunch or an ice cream cone at the Guzzle or dinner at the Wellesley Hotel & Restaurant. Before or afterwards, head off for a wander along the paths of the Minna Anthony Common Nature Center to enjoy the wildlife, the potholes and the Narrows or to the eastern end of the island to explore Boldt Yacht House and several of his boats. Time well spent.


Ian Coristine

Wallpaper March 2011

Download wide-angle version


TI Park on Wellesley of course. I remember growing up in the summers of the 60's and 70's on Grenell that the infamous Political Activist Abbie Hoffman was holed up here while trying to keep a very low profile?? Does anyone else have any confirmation about that?

Bob Vogt posted on: Tuesday, March 01, 2011

I hope that the winter is being more gentle on you than it is on us here in Vermont which is too long, too cold, and too snowy. In any event this photo is TI Park - I'm certain. It's easy to place by Eel Bay and Canoe Point on Grindstone in the back ground. When the seas are too big out of the SW the best way to cross over to the Canadian side form Clayton is too creep down the shore line, cross over to TI Park and then through the tiny cut which is barley noticeable. After that it's a straight shot to the Gananoque Narrows and on to Gan. There will many many stories so I'll defer to those great tales.

Michael Brink, VT/Ramsden Island posted on: Tuesday, March 01, 2011

My wife and I recently sold Boomerang Island in Escanaba Bay. Escanaba Bay is visible in your photo immediately to the left of the entrance to the Narrows. Residents of the area call the Narrows "the Gut". (Maybe someone could elaborate on the origin of the nickname.) TI Park is a favorite of ours to visit. One of our visits last summer, a group of puppet performers were staging a play for children. When the mechanical flowers started singing in high pitched voices our Siberian Husky had to add his voice to the reverie, so we exited the area with our frustrated tenor. We now spend most of the summer on Hill Island as our family has since 1929.

Mike Heberling posted on: Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Thank you so much for sending me the Wallpaper images----Having spent my life (80+ yrs) as a summer resident of Thousand Island Park, I thoroughly enjoyed them!

Gene McCarthy posted on: Tuesday, March 01, 2011

On our first visit to Thousand Island Park we experienced a "time warp", back 100 years! Much like Brigadoon. Thanks for another great photo.

Tub Tolton, Mallorytown, ON posted on: Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Without TIP, I'd never have been and neither would either of my sisters. In the late 1940's my mother was in a summer funk having been dumped by a favorite beau. Her college buddy, Ann, invited her to a house party with her male cousins at TIP. When the gals arrived, the guys were reported by my grandmother to be down on the Rochester dock (long gone dock associated with a hotel housed in a series of 3 grand homes on Coast Ave.). So Ann and my mother wandered down. My mother wore her long hair in a bun at the time and as she came down the stairs to the dock, my to be father commented, "Look, Ann has brought someone's grandmother!" Thus began my mother's first TIP vacation which has been repeated annually since with growing children and grandchildren! She and Ann are now both elderly widows and Ann is coming to visit her on Friday.

Carrie Kerr posted on: Tuesday, March 01, 2011

I call this "home," have been on the river all my life, and remember going to the "Guzzle" and looking at all the penny candy in the case, my kids do that now, also going to the main dock to race sunfish sail boats, my dad was commodore of the sailing club for years... Good memories, thanks for the pictures, always look forward to them! As for Abby Hoffman, yes, he was "holed" up there, lived in Fineview New York (just up the road from T.I. Park) under the assumed name of Barry Freed. He was instrumental in forming Save the River in the early days of the organization. Talked with him several times, never knowing he was Abby Hoffman. Just a sidebar to all the memories. Thanks again.

Dale Hull posted on: Tuesday, March 01, 2011

TI Park has long been a favorite stop of ours on fun trips downriver from Gananoque ... a few years ago we were racing back upriver from the bridge when suddenly the skies opened and we were slammed with a torrential downpour ... followed quickly by some massive thunderbursts ... so we jetted into the town dock to get some shelter from the storm, and we discovered a brass band playing in the upstairs pavilion ... we waited out the tempest while enjoying the music and even a little bit of dancing ... I can tell you for sure that none of our friends here in California get to experience wonderful and charming experiences such as this .... 8-)

John Street posted on: Thursday, March 03, 2011

Sigh. Yes, winter withdrawal has set in, and I'm already counting the weeks til I can return. A fourth generation Murray Islander, this is my real home. Been thinking about writing a book inspired by this area... specifically all the amazing legends surrounding my own island's heroine...Polly Daw, and hoping to chat with her daughter Pat this summer upon return to the isand. If anyone knows a good source of area-lore who likes to share their stories, please pass along.

Laura Terry Tenebruso posted on: Thursday, March 03, 2011

In reply to Bob Vogt regarding Abbie Hoffman and his time in the area. May not be the confirmation you seek; but I have a cookbook that was sold as a fundraiser in the area about 22 years ago - and in the book is an entry from Abbie Hoffman. I had relatives living at Point Vivian and they gave me the book and claimed it was indeed "the" Abbie Hoffman.

Bill Munger posted on: Thursday, March 03, 2011

I love TIP and can't wait for my annual week long vacation at my parent's cottage on Coast Ave West. I wish I could live there all summer long! It is the most peaceful and relaxing place I know of. I have been going there for just over 30 years now, and my children have come to treasure the island as much as I have. I look forward to introducing the river and the park to my grandchildren, it doesn't get any better than a river summer...

Gretchen Bornhurst-Judge posted on: Friday, March 04, 2011

Was in the area last week, February 23 & 24, 2011. Had to take a drive thru TI Park, as I had never been there in the winter. Few inhabitants, however beautiful as always. Interesting to see the old Victorian homes with canvas covering the porches. Interesting thing happened while there. My wife and I saw only two other cars driving thru TI Park. One happened to run a stop sign and almost hit my truck. I could see trying to explain that one to the insurance company. LOL

Warren Vesty posted on: Friday, March 04, 2011

Just received my monthly installment and saw the photo of TIP and it makes waiting for the park to open on Mother's Day all the harder! Just thought I would share a quick story. Our cottage is in the park facing South Bay. We did some renovations last summer to an upstairs bedroom and found all sorts of old things stuffed in the walls, presumably for insulation. There was however one letter tucked neatly away. The letter was postmarked April 13, 1893 from Gouvenour and sent to a Mr. William Cupernaul who lived in our house. It reads: Mr. CupernallDear Friend, I heard by way of my wife that you and her had a racket over a letter that I sent to her that I got from The Park. How is it and how is every thing going? Please write me the particulars and no one will know it came from you.Oblige,M.H. Spink PS Please keep this to yourself and not do as Art did and show it to my wife. It seems that even back then The Park was full of intrigue! Thanks again for sending out your emails, they are truly appreciated during the long winter months.

Ann Davis, Berwyn PA posted on: Tuesday, April 05, 2011

The Notification List

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.