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TI Life Happenings in February ‘14

This is a harsh winter so we tried to bring you fire-side reading: History, People, Places and More!  Have we hit the mark?  If so, let us know.  If not, suggest subjects you would like to see in Thousand Islands Life Magazine.

February Issue

Katherine Nelson presents Remembering Henry Joseph Hunt; Lynn McElfresh tell us about The Other Pullman Island; Anthony Mollica’s  Cherry Island’s Stuyvesant Lodge tells an interesting island history and John Carter provides an in-depth review of what happened to 1838 Prisoners of War who were sent to Tasmania in They left Jefferson County Forever…

In addition Tom King presents the history of one of Gananoque’s new building projects with From Coal Yard to Condos – Part One: Sampson Coal Company

There are two Olympic-related articles.  I introduce Hay Island’s David Ross: Canada’s Junior Culinary Olympic Team Member   and Rex Ennis publishes Grindstone Family’s Olympic Games Connection.

Chris Murray shares his love of Black & White photography of the Thousand Islands in Not Just Black & White, while Linda Rowe presents a strong case for Valentine remembrances, include the Cape Vincent Fire Department….  Michael Folsom reports Drama Closes Seaway Season in 2013

We also introduce three interesting 1000 Islanders in Janet Sullins: River Queen of Arts written by Kathi McCarthy; Charles MacLean Cochand’s Charley MacLean’s Homecoming Down River, and Brian Johnson’s February Hockey: That Very First Goal,  about his grandfather Paddy Patterson.

New Contributors

Kate Nelson Morgan - Remembering Henry Joseph Hunt

Kate Nelson Morgan grew up in New Hartford, New York (a suburb of Utica) and spent summers on Wellesley Island until she was about 20. For many years, she worked in organizational communications in New York City. In 2006, she became a full-time faculty member at Temple University’s Fox School of Business, where she teaches Human Resources and an Introduction to Business. She and her husband, Steve, live near Philadelphia and she still visits the St. Lawrence every summer. Her great love is genealogy and she has written three books about her family history.

Linda Rowe - Valentine remembrances, include the Cape Vincent Fire Department…

Linda Rowe retired to the Thousand Islands region in 2008 after careers in public government and school districts. She currently writes a feature article monthly for the What’s Happening in Cape Vincent, is one of “The Crew” writing News from Cape Vincent appearing in the T. I. Sun newspaper, and is working on a book about her brother’s life. She is also a member of the Cape Vincent Poets and Writers Ink group.

Happening in February and well done! 

1.  Gananoque promotes Gananoque, and it is well done!  A wonderful way to explore this small Ontario town and our beautiful Thousand Islands. 

1000 Reasons to do Business in Gananoque, Ontario


2.  Kenny Brabant’s  Black Ice videos made the rounds on Newsjunky and Facebook, and they are well done!  Already almost 10,000 have viewed this one.   

Published on Jan 17, 2014

Black ice (clear ice), Mid River on the St. Lawrence River, Clayton, NY,  by Kenneth and Melody Brabant.

Published on Jan 17, 2014

Another good video of "black ice", which is actually clear ice - on the St. Lawrence River, Clayton, Thousand Island, NY, by Kenneth and Melody Brabant.


Snowmobiles allowed on the St. Lawrence Parks’ Commission North Lane


Early this winter the north lane of the 1000 Islands Parkway was closed to snowmobiles.  This was upsetting to the riders as well as local businesses that benefit from the travelling patrons.  Stories in the local media explained that the Parks Commission had asked the Ontario Provincial Police to uphold the commission’s ban on motorized vehicles, in support of safety issues. 

The Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs, represented by Gananoque’s  Jim Reid, helped explain the importance of snowmobiling in the region.  In fact, Reed reported that snowmobiling is a $1.2 billion industry in Ontario.  This led to discussion with the commission and residents, riders and business representatives -  resulting in a turn-around.

On Feb 3, the commission rescinded its ban, allowing snowmobilers to use the trail until April.  The only stipulation is that riders keep their speed below 25-mph and take special precautions at all driveway crossings.  There is also a daily curfew: NO travel between 11:00 p.m and 7:00 a.m.

The Commission says this is a short-term plan and they will work with local stakeholders to find a permanent solution.

Cross Island Farms

Dani Baker from Cross Island Farms on Wellesley Island wrote, “It has been a real old fashioned winter this year.  According to a life-long resident, the St. Lawrence River is more completely frozen over than it has been since a year in the 1970s.”  Dani and many others have confirmed the simple fact that Winter in the 1000 Islands began in late November and is still well upon us.  


An Old Fashioned Winter:  It's been an eventful season here at Cross Island Farms

I have wintered here since 1993 and have not ever seen the amount of frozen water under the T.I. Bridge before.  Since an ice storm at  the end of December, cleated footwear have been essential to avoid slipping and falling on the ice.  Because of the frequent stretches of sub-zero temperatures …  whole swaths of time have been erased due to repression of the trauma of the cold.  The continual snow cover has been frequently replenished; at this writing we have drifts on our property over 3 feet deep.

Surviving the Cold: Our animals have been hunkering down against the cold. 

The pigs enter a semi-somnolent state, sleeping most of the days except when their rations of grain and cull vegetables are delivered, when they become miraculously animated and voracious. 

The cows and goats have been consuming extra quantities of organic hay to produce enough body heat to stay warm.  When the cold wind blows they present their rear ends to it to minimize its cooling effect.  When the sun shines they face it broadside to soak in the maximum amount of rays. Our fowl have not faired as well as the larger animals. 

We have had a series of predators stalking them:  first a raccoon, then a mink, then some kind of bird of prey and finally coyotes. David figures we have lost upwards of 25 ducks, turkeys and chickens to wild predation and the cold.  The good news is we still have enough breeding stock left to produce future generations of each type of bird.  And we are delighted that, with the increasing daylight, our chickens, after a 3 month long hiatus, have begun to lay their pastel colored eggs again!

You can find Dani and David at a new Winter Farmer's Market on Sundays in Chaumont and their produce is also at the Clayton Co-op.  They are accepting reservations for organic, grass-fed mixed quarters, halves and whole beef for sale at the farm and by special order delivered to the Chaumont farmer's market .  Dani, we wish you, David and your beautiful animals a speedy spring.

Winter Photographers

Our thanks to, Marta Beach, David Belding, John Brandy,  Barbara Brown de Mora, Bob Gates, Paul Hartwick , Tom King, Tim Kocher, Cindy Martin, Michael McCabe, Dennis McCarthy, Lyne Roberge, Janet Sullins,  Tom Roberts and Melissa Roserberger. Your photographs are wonderful.  


 For all those who can’t experience the River in the winter… these are for you. 

Please Don’t Forget

FACEBOOKRemember our facebook page throughout the month, as we post information and photographs  &  follow us on Twittertwitter 2

Do you write about the River - near to it, from above or below?  If so, please consider submitting an article.  Let us know what you like, or dislike, about TI Life so we can share more ideas.  And… most of all please ask questions and leave comments.

Would  you like to help?  If so, let’s talk…  By Susan W. Smith, Editor

Special thanks to our editors David Ray, Jane Taylor, Bill Stallan and Georgia Barker.
  • Cindy Martin shared this.  (Editor: Some of us do this on the sand too).

    Cindy Martin shared this. (Editor: Some of us do this on the sand too).

  • John Brandy captures the winter waves

    John Brandy captures the winter waves

  • Melissa Rosenberger's winter cardinal.

    Melissa Rosenberger's winter cardinal.

  • Melissa Rosenberger's Sydney and Sophie love the snow!

    Melissa Rosenberger's Sydney and Sophie love the snow!

  • Michael McCabe rides the Wolfe Islands Ferry

    Michael McCabe rides the Wolfe Islands Ferry

  • Dennis McCarthy attends the Rockport Winter Festival

    Dennis McCarthy attends the Rockport Winter Festival

  • Dennis McCarthy captures the outdoor rink.

    Dennis McCarthy captures the outdoor rink.

  • TI Park's Pavillion by Tom Roberts

    TI Park's Pavillion by Tom Roberts

  • TI Bridge by Tim Kocher

    TI Bridge by Tim Kocher

  • Paul Hartwick sent us this photo of  Island 92, Kenwood Island, and Lost Channel.

    Paul Hartwick sent us this photo of Island 92, Kenwood Island, and Lost Channel.

  • Bob Gates says even winter sunsets are lovely.

    Bob Gates says even winter sunsets are lovely.

  • Linda Crothers captures the Wolfe Islander III on a cold winter's day

    Linda Crothers captures the Wolfe Islander III on a cold winter's day


Please feel free to leave comments about this article using the form below. Comments are moderated and we do not accept comments that contain links. As per our privacy policy, your email address will not be shared and is inaccessible even to us. For general comments, please email the editor.


Mark Bond
Comment by: Mark Bond ( )
Left at: 10:57 PM Friday, February 14, 2014
Wow, Thank you for sharing the Gananoque youtube video! I've been a summer guest since I've been a child & continue to enjoy visiting every year including the last 5 New Year Celebrations in this cool town. Blessed with location, location, location, I believe Gan is the hidden gem of the Thousand Island area. No other small town has as much potential, I'm looking forward to seeing all that is yet to come. Keep up the good work.
Jack Patterson
Comment by: Jack Patterson ( )
Left at: 12:31 PM Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Wonderful! Especially the pictures and especially the pictures (video) by Nick of the black ice. More, please! Me a skater. When I was fourteen I liked girls. I was skating and playing hockey with my chums one sparkling day when I realized that it appeared that- for me ... a TIE existed between ice, ice hockey, skating and the ... former. Oh, my! Yikes!

Wish I were there! I think it inevitable more and more folks will recognize the draw of winter among the islands and spend winter vacations, etc. there. Ice boats keep getting morev resonable. I say it some in a worry-some way. More burden on the environment. Already though I myself chafe at the restrictopns imposed in the name of the environment.

I cross country ski and locally we are confiined to skiing only on the trails. I so want to exit the prepared (and not prepared) by ways and get FREE over there where all is new, fresh. Burst my, their ? ... bounds. Hope we can figure a way to also create, allow, freedom whilst protecting our mother!

It was such that I grew up with on a river summers essentailly empty. Calm days I hovered just as Nick did but from a skiff in a bay now filled with a boathouse on a Lake Fleet Island ... watchng for the small mouth 'lunker' I, a twelve year old, had discovered there. Thanks again so for T.I., Life!