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February's TI Life

The January issue was sent in the late evening and by morning my mailbox received comments, questions and offers to contribute. That was great!

Thanks to Ian Coristine, Dr. Dick Withington provided his Winter Islander piece. It attracted many comments – even from as far away as England. And Andy King’s photography generated questions from a magazine in France!

When I took over as Editor, I was humbled to say the least and I was worried about the quality of my writing. However, back in September a gentleman from Eastern Ontario offered to help check spelling, grammar and concepts. Since then we have collaborated on articles and I want to officially thank - David Ray.

This month's TI Life

In November 2008 Kim Lunman wrote about an important new Discovery Center planned for Brockville's waterfront that will be focused on the Thousand Islands and the River.  The proposal is to build an $18 million facility with funding coming in equal parts from Canada's Federal and provincial governments plus a public/private partnership between the City of Brockville and developer Simon Fuller. Just before putting this issue to bed on February 13th, we learned of an announcement from Ottawa and local MP Gord Brown's office that the federal and provincial governments have approved the request for the majority of the funding - $11.4 million. $3 million has already been pledged by the City and Fuller with the remainder coming from fundraising within the community.  This is great news for the whole Thousand Islands region.

Mike Folsom

We have another article this month from Mike Folsom, January’s contributor of  Seaway Season Recap 2008.  Mike gives insight into the life of Captian Paul Beesley and those aboard the Nadro Marine tugs Ecosse, Vigilant 1 and the Seahound.  They did an outstanding job throughout the summer by transporting 86 windmills from the Port of Ogdensburg in northern New York to Wolfe Island in Ontario.


Roli and Danielle Pootmans

Well known Thousand Islands cruising sailors, Roli and Danielle Pootmans, allow us to benefit from their cruising experience. Roli's love for boats, and sailing, developed when he was at Camp Nominingue in the 1950s. His first sailboat, bought in 1965, the 12' Sea Snark, was followed soon after by a 15' Falcon, then a 24' Olympic Star in which he and Danielle sailed on Lake St. Louis in Montreal and via the Seaway to the Thousand Islands for a holiday. In 1976 they moved up to an Alberg 30, Lynn V, which allowed Lake Ontario to be a destination. Lanikai, an Alberg 37, purchased in 1980, allowed for longer excursions and eventually they made the Thousand Islands their summer cruising grounds. Roli, being a pilot, is a meticulous mariner - always checking before failures occur. If you have additional “tips” for the coming boating season, please add them to our comment section.

Dale MacNair

Fishing is one of the historic pastimes in the Thousand Islands – and that sport is alive and well in the Thousand Islands. On January 8th, the Ottawa Citizen’s two-column story, “Hauling in the Biggest Muskie of 2008” caught my eye, especially as it included the phrase: “40 Acre Shoal near Gananoque”. Sure enough - A “Monster Muskie” was caught in the Thousand Islands on November 28th by Ottawa resident Dale MacNair, accompanied by his girlfriend Julie Cashaback, and their fishing friend and the well known Sal Rotolo from Gananoque. A few emails later, I met Dale on the phone. I suggest you not only read the article, but listen to the radio interview or watch the Chicago Muskie show to truly enjoy this special “fish story”.

Phil the Forcaster (Chadwick)

“Phil the Forecaster”, joins us this month with his expertise on weather, Freezing Rain and other Joys. If you have a chance, check out his web page – for his art works are beautiful and I think he only keeps his day job because he loves it! Also if you Google this gentleman you will find that his science is just as fascinating as his art.

Parks and Preserves

We introduce the Thousand Islands Land Trust - known as TILT  - Preserving the Thousand Islands.  In addition be have begun to update THE PLACE, and its Parks and Preserves.  Please check the Public Spaces (TILT) and the New York State Parks.

Doug McLellan

Doug McLellan from Wood Isle of the Lake Fleet, is another photographer who provides some spectacular views of his region of the Thousand Islands. However, he also would like to know more about his island history and he asks questions in his article.  Doug's bio is included in his article, but Torontonians will recognize Doug's place of business, as the McLellan Group recently moved into The Distillery Historic District.

Additional Features

Kristen Pinkney

Part III of May Dewey”s Diary (“Thousand Islands summer and Manhattan Winters August 1888 to 1889”) researched by Kristen Pinkney, appears in this issue. The diary gives a snapshot of how rich young teens kept busy on the river in the Gilded Age. We introduced Kris in our December issue, but I want to point out something special in this month's edition.

Midway through September 1888, May meets Herbert Dean, who eventually marries May's best  friend, Pansy Brush. While researching the dairy, Kristen said she met a Brush relative and discovered that Herbert H. Dean and Pansy are the great grandparents of Howard Dean, past governor of Vermont and former Democratic Presidential candidate. (Editor’s note, see "The Thousand Islands is more than a salad dressing and the center of the world")

Kim Lunman

Kim provides another in her series of articles from Island Treasures, originally published by Brockviile's Recorder and Times and reprinted here with the kind permission of publisher Bob Pearce. Learn the story behind the Canadian Empress - the lovely cruise ship that you see all summer long, plying the waters of the St. Lawrence River.

Dick Withington

Winter Island Living - "How do you do it? This month, Dr. Richard (Dick) Withington answers one of the questions he received on our site. "Dick, I have a home on Fairyland Island and have the same dream. Just wondering what your setup was on your island; heat and water especially. Until I figure that stuff out, I guess I won't be seeing you, or anyone else in T.I. until next summer. Thanks for the great article."

More than a Salad Dressing & an Author and Astronomy

"Did you know..."  Each month I seek links to the Thousand Islands, highlighting the area's history and activities that place the Thousand Islands in the center of the world - and More than a Salad Dressing! In the summer of 1975 I met Helen Wright (Greuter). We rented her island the following year and it was Helen who greatly motivated me to appreciate the Thousand Islands and learn more about its important history.

Thanks for putting a thousand islands in your life.... If you would like to comment on the editorial content of the Magazine, send your comments to

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Dave Montrois
Comment by: Dave Montrois ( )
Left at: 8:48 PM Wednesday, February 18, 2009
You are doing a great job with this site. I look forward to each new issue while I'm in Florida, just as I look forward to getting the Thousand Islands Sun. You both help me get through the winter. I also love "The First Summer People".

Burton Blais
Comment by: Burton Blais
Left at: 1:59 PM Wednesday, May 2, 2012
I find it lamentable that the photo at the head of this page features that horrid new "cat" boat. This monstrosity constitutes the latest assault on the tranquility of the Thousand Islands. Last summer while sailing peacefully in the Grenadier Island area I was absolutely shocked to see that noisy monster come tearing up the river, making a very loud noise reverberating long after its passage. The reckless morons who operate and patronize such selfish vessels must really hate the Thousand Islands, not wishing to actually see its sights, enjoy its sounds and fragrances, but preferring to blast through at blurring speeds, destroying everyone else's peace, as though they wished to minimze their time on the water and just get to their destination (some tacky tourist castle, no doubt). Wish they'd just drive their cars, or better yet, stay at home plugged into their TVs and video games, and leave the rest of us river rats alone! Its a wonder that in this day and age of environmental concern our governments are still licensing such environment-busting craft.