Wallpaper May 2009

Wallpaper May 2009

I continue to be impressed by how many people manage to identify a scene I never expect will be recognized. This is the exact opposite of the view boaters see while passing the Sifton Estate just downstream from Browns Bay Provincial Park. The coordinates are B 24 on the books' maps if you're not sure where this is.

Last Month's Wallpaper April 2009

Sir Clifford Sifton was the Minister of the Interior in Prime Minister Sir Wilfred Laurier’s cabinet at the turn of the century. Sifton was largely responsible for populating Canada’s west after introducing a progressive immigration policy in the 1890s. Home was Winnipeg but his heart was here where he accumulated a large parcel of land, some of which shows in last month’s screensaver. Several members from different branches of the family continue to summer here, all as attached to the place as their forebear.

Amongst others, both Tub and son David Tolton submitted correct answers, but the nod goes to David in an attempt to help build the fame he missed out on during his brush with Hollywood stardom, though Tub's recollection of gourmet delights runs a close second.

"This is 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 believe 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 Amateur 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 excitement.

One of the needs for the movie was to have some boats floating out on the river as background. Fortunately one of 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, Burlington, Ontario.

Thanks David. Talk about a dream summer job!

As it’s about time to head back to the River where you'll be able to enjoy all the beauty in person, I’ll leave you with this final image for the season and encourage making a fun summer project of searching it out if you don’t immediately recognize it. A set of prints awaits the best story which correctly identifies it.

Lastly, I'm delighted to mention that the Tall Ships Landing project with its Discovery Center focusing on our Thousand Islands is going from strength to strength. Recently, both levels of government announced their support through grants totalling over 11 million dollars. Now a major concert will be held at the site on Saturday, June 6th celebrating a milestone that is particularly relevant to the Thousand Islands.

Great Lake Swimmers recorded portions of their latest album last fall at Singer Castle, St. Brendan's church on the bluff at Rockport and the Brockville Arts Center. Tony Dekker, the group's lead singer was deeply impressed by our region, sufficiently so that he named the new album "Lost Channels." The band is currently on a marathon international tour and will be coming to Brockville just a few days after their final European stop in Madrid, Spain.

Making this even more fun, they'll be performing from the decks of the tall ship "Fair Jeanne" which will be moored at the Tall Ships site in Brockville's Harbor for the occasion. This isn't just a celebration of Tall Ships Landing, the Discovery Center or even of Brockville. It's a celebration of an important component of the Thousand Islands' future and all Islanders are welcome. If you're not yet familiar with them, check out Great Lake Swimmers.

I hope these wallpaper images have helped ease time away from the River. We'll get back to them in the fall.

In the meantine, enjoy getting back to the River,

Ian Coristine

Wallpaper May 2009

Download wide-angle version


It's Sifton Point I think.  Is the water tower in Alex Bay? Disorienting!

Susie Wood, Chippewa Bay, NY posted on: Sunday, April 26, 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 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, Dunrobin, ON posted on: Sunday, April 26, 2009

What a beautiful shot!! Maybe I've been in Vancouver too long. I recognize the house, but can't remember where it is. I look forward to your emails every month and feel connected to my river this way. Keep up the good work.

Pat Lalonde, North Vancouver, B.C. posted on: Sunday, April 26, 2009

You appear to be on an early morning flight over the mouth of Jones Creek looking Southwest, with Whitney Point in the foreground, then across the bay to Sifton Point, with Griswold in the middle distance, and Gull and Corn farther out. Jones Creek folk are usually low profile, although a most interesting event took place a few years ago on the Sifton Estate.  It was the filming of "Joshua, Then and Now". The grounds were beautifully groomed, several BYC boats were moored just off shore for the Yacht Club effect, and many local people were hired as "extras", who mostly waited and tried to keep cool on a very warm day. One of the props was a beautiful large buffet of fruit and canapes. During a lull, one of the extras was tempted to sample some of the fruit and discovered, too late, that the entire table had been sprayed with kerosene to keep the flies away.

Tub Tolton, Elizabethtown, ON posted on: Sunday, April 26, 2009

That lower shot is probably somewhere in Canada, but that bay sure looks like the one on the west end of Grenell (sp?) island with Murray Isle just out of the picture to the right, TI Park at your 5 o'clock, and Fisher's Landing at your 6. Grenell has/had(?) a mail pickup store on the near shore, across from Murray, and they had a Tea Room off to the side where it was possible to get the best draft root beer I've ever tasted. The ancient wire chairs and tables really made the atmosphere.

Dave Scott, Columbus, OH posted on: Sunday, April 26, 2009

This Month's Wallpaper is really beautiful.
 Could you tell me the exactly location of this photo? Thank you.

Jessie Loverock posted on: Sunday, April 26, 2009

I believe the wallpaper for April is looking S/W across Whitney Point near Jones Creek.

Bill Johnson, Mexico, NY posted on: Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I admire and appreciate how you share your beautiful photographs and updates for the world to see. The icing on the cake is learning that the Great Lake Swimmers will be celebrating with us here! Fabulous group. Fabulous location! With great pride, Stephanie

posted on: Friday, May 01, 2009

I have loved the wallpapers all winter long and it is only two months until I get back to our island in the Admiralty Group for two wonderful months. Thanks for keeping the islands alive in the winter. It is hard when you're far away for so many months. Keep it up.

SUSAN SAITER posted on: Friday, May 01, 2009

I don't usually comment on your screensavers because I'm not familiar enough with the River to recognize locales yet, or to have a backlog of place-specific stories to share. But I did want to tell you that I think each one is more spectacular than the previous, a powerful blend of art and nature.

Ross Pollack posted on: Friday, May 01, 2009

Thank you Ian for a wonderful winter filled with the sights of our lovely thousand islands. This photo is haunting. I do not recognize the location, however I have walked our island (Tar) on very early mornings to experience the same surreal awakening of the islands. It is a very moving experience to watch the mist as it begins to rise off the river when the early morning light touches the water. Have a great time this summer finding us all more wonderful photos to view next winter.

Mary Crawford Rochester, NY posted on: Friday, May 01, 2009

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.