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Part II - May Dewey's Diary

“This is the first day of a new month. We all have been hanging around although mostly in the yacht. For we gave an angling party here this evening & had lots of fun.” Thus, Part II begins of Kristen Pinkney's research Thousand Islands Summers - Manhattan Winters: May Dewey's Diary, beginning July 1888 and culminating in August 1889.

Part I

Part I can be found in the December 2008 issue and a description of how the diary was discovered and researched is explained in the Contributors in December 2008 article of Thousand Islands Life.

Kris' work goes beyond the text by providing hundreds of footnotes for readers to learn more about the life and times in the Thousand Islands.  There are more than forty footnotes distributed throughout the diary in Part II.  Simply move the cursor over the highlighted text and the footnote will appear.  Click "close" and the footnote will disappear.  Also note that clicking on an image will enlarge it.

Click here to view the Introduction to Part I

Introduction to Part II

Part II records summer living in August 1888 on Friendly Island near Alexandria Bay. Harriet Ella Dewey (b. September 24, 1868) and Florence May Dewey (b. December 5, 1869) were born in Chicago. May and Ella were always known by their middle names.

The Deweys first full season was in 1887. May’s diary opens with the July summer season of 1888 and continues through August. Once again we get a unique glimpse of life among the Islanders in the Gilded Age.

NOTE:  The diary has been typed, but no corrections have been made to grammar, punctuation or spelling.

Thousand Islands Summers - Manhattan Winters: May Dewey's Diary Part II

August 1888, Friendly Island, Alexandria Bay, NY.

Wednesday 1 This is the first day of a new month. We all have been hanging around although mostly in the yacht. For we gave an angling party here this evening & had lots of fun. The Florence fellows1 came we had 5 tables. Miss Reed got the first prize. We had dancing afterward but the Virginia Reel was the best. While they were dancing the sides kept time. It was great fun.

Thursday 2 Mr. Taylor2left this afternoon. I am very sorry to have him go for I like him very much indeed. We all tried to persuade him to stay but he wouldn’t. He seemed to like it here very much. This afternoon we had the yacht “Minnie”3 and went up to Round Island4 to see a sham battle5 which they had. We promised to bring the Florence fellows home so Mr. Driggs & Mr. Taylor returned with us. We had lots of fun. Miss Reed lost her coat overboard & the fellows had to get it. We had quite an exciting time.

Friday 3 We spent the day in the yacht & enjoyed ourselves so much. We went to Clayton but did not stay long on. I had a glass of soda water.

Saturday 4 It has been terribly hot all day. We first laid on the ground all day. Flora Jenkins6 came about two o’clock. But we did not do much of anything but talk. She has been at Black Rock7 all summer & has had a gay time.

Sunday 5 We did not go to church this morning but this afternoon we went to St.Elmo8. Mr. Brown9 read the services. He is very young about 20 & has a church in Brooklyn. We met Dick Anthony10 and his friends, 2 Mr. Powers11, Mr. Rogers. Also some fellows from Florence Island Mr. Conklin12 and Mr. Taylor13 No. 2.

Monday 6 This morning we made an engagement with Dick Anthony and his friends. They were coming but got becalmed so only stopped a minute & then in glided Mr. Driggs & Mr. Taylor in their canoes. We had a very jolly time. We took a picture of them in the canoe which is very pretty. This afternoon we went over to play tennis with the Florence fellows & had such a jolly time. We had lemonade & returned about six o’clock. Went to M. Heath to entertainment this eve. I was with Mr. Singer all the evening also Miss Reed & Dick Anthony.

Tuesday 7 This morning Charles Reed14 came & also the Anthony fellows and we took turns all out in the yacht to deliver the invitations to mail15 at Edgewood on Thursday. We had great fun. Mr. Edsall went also Dick Anthony had a camera16 which he was snapping on us on all occasions. We took a picture of them all on the dock steps before they left, which I hope we will be good. We made an engagement to meet at Bonnie Castle to play tennis in the morning & the afternoon with Florence fellows at Edgewood. This evening Walter Clark17  came & we all went to a German at Comfort Island18. (Mrs. Clark) I had Mr. Clark for a partner & I enjoyed myself very much. The favors were extremely pretty. I got 4. We got home about twelve o’clock.

Wednesday 8 Walter Clark left this morning but we took one or two pictures before he went which turned out very well. Over to the bay we met Mr. Wyeth19 who is a very good looking fellow. We (Flora & I) had a very nice talk with him.

Thursday 9 This morning about half after ten we went to Hollands & had a few games of tennis. All the Anthony crowd was there. We had a large group taken. I wish that I could see it. This afternoon about two o’clock we all went over to Edgewood & the Florence fellows came over to play with us. (Mr. Brown, Mr. Driggs, & Mr. Taylor) We had refreshments & a terribly exciting game of tennis. Just four fellows it was a very close game. I took several pictures one a group with lemonade straws & all & several with the people playing. They are quite cute. We saw them all at the entertainment at Edgewood. I had a lovely dance with Mr. Driggs. He is my favorite. Altogether we had a delightful time.

Friday 10 This afternoon we all went to Clayton. Mr. Reed has his violin and played for us. This afternoon I took a picture of Flora & Mr. Reed in a boat first starting out sailing. It is a very cute picture.

Saturday 11 We have just returned from our picnic, we invited Mr. J. Taylor, Fred Driggs & Louis Brown, also Mr. Edsall but he didn’t go for his father was sick. We did have such a jolly time. We went on the yacht to the dining place & then got into our boat. Mr. Driggs asked me to go with him but we found that Mr. Brown had brought no oarsman20 so they got into our boat. Mr. Driggs & Helen had sat on the middle seat. I had the stern & Mr. Brown was sitting on the bottom of the boat leaning against me, he had such a lovely time. We hung out our lines for looks sake & caught about 8 fish & those were only perch. I took several pictures. I hope they will be good. I took two groups & caught three fellows when they were throwing stones. Coming home we came the same way only in addition we had ginger ale, root-beer, peaches & candy, which by the way, the fellows had bought six boxes. It was lovely of them. We reached home about half past six. We all sat out on the back deck. 4 fellows & 4 girls. Mr. Driggs played his banjo & Mr. Reed his violin. We all sang everything we could think of. They are all coming over tomorrow afternoon. I should think that the girls would be mad to have them here so much. Walter Clark came tonight & brought Mr. Handy with him. They both stayed over night which was very queer as it was Mr. Handy’s first call.

Sunday 12 This morning the “Minnie” took us all to church, but the sermon we did not enjoy very much. Dr Kenyon21 preached as usual. This afternoon it being such a glorious one we took the large rugs & pillows down to the lower end of the island & lay there. The first fellow who appeared was Mr. Wyeth, who is a very handsome fellow, very tall with light hair & blue eyes. Then soon after the Florence fellows came, Mr. Driggs, Joe Taylor, & Mr. Brown. We had a very jolly time. They stayed all the afternoon. Mamma didn’t like them being here very much. This evening Mr. Reed left. I am sorry he has gone, he has never been as nice to me since our German at the Dancing class, when I treated him so rudely & I don’t wonder that he is put out. Mr. Clark & Mr. Handy left this afternoon just before the Florence fellows came which was at three o’clock.

Monday 13 We all woke this morning to find it storming fearfully, so hard that Helen Reed couldn’t go to Ogdensburg22. We girls went down to the boat house & spent the morning very pleasantly. We got a wave from the fellows at Florence. This evening we all sat around the fire & ate pop corn.

Tuesday 14 This morning I got up at six o’clock to see Miss Reed off. I am very sorry to have her go for we all have enjoyed her visit very much indeed. I hope that she can come again. Mr. Driggs, Mr. Taylor & Louis Brown came over this morning. We had a very jolly time with them. They later went on the yacht for a short trip as they had an engagement for tennis. We spent the afternoon in our rooms. The Florence fellows passed & shouted to us to go over to Edgewood but of course we didn’t go. This evening who should walk in but Mr. Brown. We were all very glad to see him, he staid until about half past eleven which was a long call. We all went over to the Bay for a short time but there wasn’t much going on so we came back.

Wednesday 15 We spent all the day in our row boat “Frolic”23  in a nook near Heart’s Island. I enjoyed myself very much. We saw the Florence fellows at a distance.

Thursday 16 We spent all the day on the yacht. Mr. Heath invited us all to go to Brockville24. We enjoyed it so much. We were gone all day. This evening we all went over to Edgewood as tonight is the evening when all the Islanders meet. It began very stupid, but ended up very well. The Florence fellows spent all the evening with us. I met Mr. Hubbard, a great friend of the Vails. I don’t care for him so very much. He is a desperate flirt. Mr. Louis Brown goes tomorrow morning. I am very sorry. I asked them all to call. I hope that they will.

Friday 17 This morning we all went over to the hotel and while there received a telegram from Will Delanoy25 saying that he would be in on the line boat so Flora & I went to the Thousand Island House & there met Mr. Wyeth & Mr. Platt and also some other fellows & girls. We spent a delightful morning. I like Mr. Wyeth so much he is a perfect gentleman. I hope that I shall see them in the City next winter. We met Will & brought him over. I was very glad to see him. I hope that he will stay a long time. We spent the morning just lazying around. We girls went upstairs early. We had lemonade, crackers & cookies. Will was not feeling at all well.

Saturday 18 Ed Delanoy26 came this morning. I was very glad to see him. He is such a frank pleasant fellow. He can only stay until Sunday evening. I think that it is horrid. This morning we all took a row. Ella went with Will & Flora & I with Ed. We went way up a little creek. It is quite a picturesque. We then went over to the Hotel and there met Mr. Troy who joined our party. Then Ella & I went with Mr. Troy & Ed & had several games of bowling. We then came home. This afternoon Mr. Driggs & Mr. Taylor came over. Mr Driggs leaves tonight. Then Walter Clark put in an appearance. Mr. Driggs asked me to go out canoeing but Walter Clark had asked me first before so I had to refuse. It was awfully mean. They stayed until about six o’clock. We took a picture of them & several of Ed & Will with other groups. They are very good. We all waved to Fred Driggs as he passed on the “Islander”27 He seemed to appreciate it. This evening we all took a moon light sail and then came home & decided to go to a hop at the hotel where we had quite a pleasant time considering there was one fellow to about fifteen girls28. But Mr. Troy was very nice. He introduced us to several fellows. I was with Mr. Wyeth a great deal. He made himself very agreeable. Flora said that she was wildly jealous when Ella & I had four fellows with us and she only one. But there was no cause for it. Ed was very nice. He staid with us all along although he was having a stupid time. We got home about twelve o’clock.

Sunday 19 This morning they all went to church at Mr. Pullman’s but I staid at home to write and read. When they returned I was sitting on the lawn and I’d come down. We were having such a nice time and Flora had to come too which half spoilt it. But this afternoon we had a pleasant time in the lookout29. Mr. Wyeth came over and staid until tea time. He is such a nice fellow. I like him so much. I hope that he will come over again. Ed left at 6:30 this evening. We were all very sorry to have him go. I always hate to have my friends go. This evening Mr. Hatch & Mr. Young and Mr. & Mrs. Haskins came and we sang. Will and I had a very nice talk together. He said that he had not seen any girl that he had loved but I doubt it & he asked me if there was any fellow that I cared for which I answered no to. We kept on talking such nonsence and Flora was nearly wild for she hates to have a fellow talking to another girl when she is around.

Monday 20 This morning we Flora, Will, Ella & I all went out in our boats and took quite a long row. Then went behind Pullman’s Island in a little cove and Will read “Geraldine”30 to us. I fore one spent a very pleasant morning and I know that he did. This evening in all went up to a campfire on Round Island. We invited Mr. Wyeth to go but he didn’t get our note in time as he as out fishing. It was a glorious moon light night. Before we started we met or saw on the boat the Messrs. Powers who had been to see us this afternoon. They took some pictures one of the lawn ball with all of us grouped around but only took the reflection. I am very anxious to see it. We went to the campfire31 and enjoyed it very much indeed. The most entertaining thing was the three witches. Coming home it was like a fairy picture. We seven did several islands, the moon was so bright, we could see to read. Will was lying on the deck beside me and he looked at me, so it got me nervous. I wish that he wouldn’t do it.

Tuesday 21 Will left this morning. We tried to persaude him to stay but his mother & father are in a launch and they sent a guide to meet him. He comes about twenty miles so he had to go. I wish that he could have stayed. He asked us in his mother’s name if we wouldn’t go in camp with them for two weeks. It would be delightful. I do wish that I could go but would not without a letter from Mrs. Delanoy. We went over to see Will off. He left at 9:30. We went up to Judge Spencer’s this afternoon & took a sail. While we were here on the dock, I took a picture of Mr. Edsall which is very good. We took some others on the yacht. Tomorrow we expect to go fishing with a large party. There will be three yachts.

Wednesday 22 It is raining as hard as it can so it is all up for the fishing party. So Mrs. Singer proposed that we should have a musical this evening which we did. We invited quite a number of people. There were 70 in all32. We had several fellows which is quite a thing. Teddie Holland, I didn’t know he was home. I was very glad to see him. It was gorgeous in moonlight. I had quite a good time with Mr. Slayback.33 He is quite young but nice.

Thursday 23 This morning Mr. Thomson came & took us out sailing & we had a delightful time. He was very pleasant. I do hope that he will come again. I don’t see how Mamma let us go but she did for she is terribly afraid of sailboats. We went to Edgewood this evening as it is the night that all the islanders meet there. Although I thought that we would have a stupid time but I enjoyed myself very much. I was with Mr. Marsh34, a married man by the way ! We laughed all the evening. He is a very nice man & devoted to his wife. Although he talked too funny said such queer things. I don’t like it very much. I went with Mr. Rose35 also.

Friday 24 Flora, & I this morning went over to the Bay to see May French who came yesterday. She has cut her hair & looks very much prettier. We all went in and had our tintypes taken. There was Mr. Williams, Mr. Troy, Mr. Lee,36 Miss French, Miss Wheeler, Miss Lee & Flora. It was very good. This afternoon we had a large party here. First Mr. Slayback & Mr. Edsall came then shortly after Miss French, Miss Lee, & Mr. Lee. Then a few minutes later Mr. Troy walked in then Mr. Hawley & still later Miss Southgate & Mr. Wyeth. Mr. Lee went into estachies over the house. I took a picture of them all before they left. This evening we went down to T.I.P. to hear Will Carlton37 read but it was awfully stupid. We asked Teddie Holland & Mr. Troy also Dick Anthony but they couldn’t go. I wonder if we will have a nice time at the hop at Edgewood tomorrow night. Teddie Holland called today.

Saturday 25 This morning Flora, Ella & I rode over to the Bay to get some candy. We then went to a shady cove & we had pillows & cushions & books also candy. We spent a very pleasant morning. We took the banjo & sang. This afternoon we spent in our rooms reading a book on Palmestry38, which we found very amusing. Mrs. Clark came & staid to dinner. I had a very fair time at the hop considering there were only about fifteen people there. Mrs. Marsh chaperoned us as all the others went down to see some fireworks at Round Island then a campfire afterwards. I wished that we had gone with them instead for I know that we would have had a better time. I haven’t seen anything of Papa since he has been here for we have had so many friends with us. He goes back tomorrow night. I do wish that he could stay longer.

Sunday 26 This morning we got all ready for church. Flora & I but the wind blew so Mamma did not send Fred39 back for us. We spent the morning as we always do. This afternoon Mr. Wyeth came over . We had a very pleasant time. Flora had him try to pay her all the attention but he didn’t. Anything I dislike in a girl is having her try to attract a fellow’s attention. I do like him so much. I hope that we shall see him another summer. He leaves for NY tonight.

Monday 27 This morning we went over & got Flora’s ticket, as she expected to leave this afternoon but found that she wouldn’t reach Oneida until after 10 o’clock so she is going to wait until tomorrow, she has invited us to spend two days at the Castle on our way home. This afternoon we went over to the Bay. Flora & I then saw Mr. Taylor who had not left as he said he would. Flora & I got to laughing as when we saw him that we could talk. They came over to speak to us. Mr. Laughlin40was with them, then the Messrs. Rose came over. I don’t care much for them they are very queer.

Tuesday 28 Flora left this morning about seven o’clock. I got rather tired of her for she is the same all the time in her case a little goes a great ways.

Wednesday 29 Ella & I spent the day in taking interiors which are quite good. Photography is very amusing & interesting. This evening Mrs. Spencer & Walter Edsall came to tea & we took the yacht & took a sail around in the Canadian channel. It was one of the loveliest sails I have ever taken. The water was like a sheet of glass & the sunset & foliage was all reflected in the water which made it doubily beautiful. I hope that we will see Walter Edsall in the City.

Thursday 30 Ella & I called on the Lewises & Miss Hayden yesterday & so didn’t do much today and this evening we went over to Edgewood as it is the last meeting of the islanders. I enjoyed myself so much. Dick Anthony was there, he called this afternoon & said he would go, also the Roses and a Mr. Washington who is a very handsome man, but a terrible flirt. Walter Edsall was there. I like him so much.

Friday 31 It has rained hard all day so we didn’t do anything. It has been raining nearly all the week with the exception of a few days. Mr. King41 & Papa are here now.


Researched and compiled by Kristen Pinkney

© Copyright Kristen Pinkney 2008, All Rights Reserved

Watch for Part III in the February 2009 issue of Thousand Islands Life Magazine.


Florence fellows, referring to the fellows visiting Florence Island: Fred Driggs, Joe Taylor and Louis Brown, all from Brooklyn.


“Minnie”, Steam yacht for hire, owned and operated by Captain William Wescott. Haddock, p. 83


Round Island, consisted of private cottages and the Round Island House, a large upscale hotel. In 1890 Charles Goodwin Emery bought the Round Island House and made major improvements with the help of J.W. Davidson, a famous NYC architect. The hotel became known as the New Frontenac Hotel, which burned to the ground in 1911. Smith, p. 203


The 35th Separate Company of Ogdensburg & the 29th Separate Company & Oswego Guards met for the sham battle with a dress parade afterwards. Watertown Herald archives


Flora Jenkins, friend of May and Ella Dewey, daughter of Hiram Tuttle Jenkins and Cornelia Danby of Onedia Castle, New York


Black Rock, Connecticut


St. Elmo Island, owned by Nathaniel W. Hunt of Brooklyn. Haddock, p. 243


Frederick Brown of 265 Washington St. affiliated with Washington St. Methodist Episcopal Church, Brooklyn, NY. 1888-89 Brooklyn NY Directories, Frederick Brown & his sister are staying at St. Elmo with the Hunt family.


Anthony family of Point Marguerite, Alexandria Bay, this is where Pine Tree Point Resort is located now. The Anthonys reside in New York. Haddock, p. 243 & 245. Richard A. Anthony, Vice President at 591 Broadway, residence at 661 Fifth Avenue. NYC Directory 1890.


Cornelius Powers & William Powers, brothers, of NYC were friends with Dick Anthony. New York Times arch ives


George C. Conklin, nephew of Henry S. Chandler, the owner of Florence Island. US Federal Census The Conklins reside in Brooklyn, NY.


Joseph Brown Taylor of Brooklyn, NY, courtesy Margaret Taylor Boyle. Joe Taylor married January 5, 1893, Fred Driggs was his best man & George Conklin was an usher. Brooklyn Eagle archives.


brother of Helen Reed, from the Bronx


Without telephones & other contemporary means of communication, invitations were hand delivered to the Islanders, asking them to meet on Thursday evenings at the Edgewood.


E & H.T. Anthony & Co. advertised different models in 1888, including Phantom, Novelette, Fairy, Bijou & Climax Detective cameras. Dick Anthony was the Vice President of his father’s and uncle’s company; Edward Anthony & Henry T. Anthony.


Walter Clark’s real name was Mancel T. Clark, US Federal Census,


Comfort Island, Alson E. Clark of Chicago. Haddock, p. 243


Stuart Wyeth, lawyer, at 265 54th St, resides at 1511 Locust St. Philadelphia City Directory 1890 His father, John Wyeth, established Wyeth company in Philadelphia in 1860. In 1929 Stuart died and left the company’s interests to his alma mater, Harvard University.


The oarsman or guide was hired by Thousand Island visitors for fishing excursions with a St. Lawrence skiff. Often the skiff(s) were tied behind the yacht.


Ogdensburg, a port on the St. Lawrence River. Established in 1868 as a city, it is the only city in St.Lawrence County. <> Robert J. LaRue


May refers to their St. Lawrence skiff as a rowboat


Brockville, Ontario, a city on the St. Lawrence River


Will Delanoy, is William Cooper Delanoy, son of John A. Delanoy and Anna Corlies. Born May 6, 1861 Courtesy of Nancy DeLanoy on


Ed Delanoy, is Edwin Peshine Delanoy, son of John A. Delanoy and Anna Corlies. Born 4/23/1865, Delanoys were from Mamaroneck, NY. Ed and Will Delanoy are brothers. Nancy DeLanoy


“Islander”, a steamer of the 10 Folger steamers known as the “White Squadron” was captained by A. Kendall. Steamers transported passengers to and from their lodgings and the railroad station at Clayton.“The White Squadron” Thousand Islands Sun Vacationer (May 30, 2001) p.5. Reprinted from On the St. Lawrence, (May 1, 1896)


Shortages of eligible young men were usually the norm at summer resorts.


The lookout was a Gazebo on the island. Refer to photograph credited to Alan Ray II, former resident of Friendly Island.


Geraldine, A Souvenir of the St. Lawrence by Alphonso A. Hopkins, first published in 1881 without illustrations. Later editions were illustrated and had embellished bindings. It is a romantic story set on the St. Lawrence, written in long verse.


Campfires on Round Island at this time featured recitations, stories etc. presented by the Raquette Club in front of an Adirondack camp owned by the noted artist, Frank H. Taylor. Taylor was the President of the Raquette Club. New York Times archive.


Seventy people at short notice is quite remarkable, considering there were no telephones.


Henry B. Slayback, of 416 Madison Avenue, NYC, known as “Harry” was friends with Walter Edsall, Judge Spencer’s stepson on Manhattan Island. Walter was his best man when Harry married Jessie A. Tefft on November 1, 1894. New York Times archives


G.B. Marsh, of Ingleside, Cherry Island, resides in Chicago. Haddock, p. 245


Rose family of Wild Rose, owned by W. G. Rose, resides in Cleveland, Ohio. Haddock, p. 244


Mr. Fred Lee was a manager at the Thousand Island House, Miss Lee was probably his sister. Oswego Palladium archives.


Will Carleton, American poet (1845-1912)


Palmistry is telling one’s future by the lines in their palm.


Fred is their cook and hired servant. Frances Dewey was a very religious woman & taught Sunday School. Sunday School may have been held before the church service at the Methodist Episcopal Church in Alexandria Bay.


H.A. Laughlin, of Craig Side, Wellesley Island, resides in Pittsburg, PA. Haddock, p. 244


Henry W. King or his brother, Charles B. King of Browning, King & Co.

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