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The Red, on Tremont Island

The Red is a majestic cottage on Tremont Island. It lives on the St. Lawrence River right near Gananoque, Ontario. This antique cottage was built in the late 1800s and still stands today. It has two floors and provides a place to play, dance, eat, read and stay for many people.

Last year my aunt and cousin bought the property, expecting to continue the tradition of the Taylor family, spending their summers on the island. Thanks to The Red, just last year, we had a range of 88 years, sleeping under the same roof. My family now inhabits five cottages on Tremont, and the addition of The Red will bring many memories and “s’mores” to future generations. My great aunt spent her summers enjoying “The Grey”, in 1933. 82 years later it would be known as The Red and become a vacation spot for her great grandchild.

The beach has already provided countless hours of entertainment to my six toddler cousins, and will continue to for many years to come. Some of my fondest memories of my cousins and I, on Tremont, lie on The Red’s property.

I can still smell the smoke today, from that campfire we had. It was not the first, not the last, not even the biggest, but I remember it vividly. The younger kids got to stay-up way past their bedtime, to see the special performance. It happened all at once; the sun had set and just as her shadow disappeared, the sky blackened, as the best part of the night arrived. We were all ready with jars that we had poked holes in earlier, and began the hunt. Tucker, the 6 year old, got the first one. He cupped his hands and slowly cracked them open so we could see his prize. It twinkled like the fire, and flashed its light just for us before it escaped. We all looked forward to this time - firefly time. I had memories of when I was 6, doing just this and The Red is the perfect spot for it. Later in the night we had nearly caught enough that one light would always be twinkling.

There are so many things going on at The Red, but one other memory that will never leave me is not all on The Red property, but started and ended there. We live on an island, so naturally we have a boat. My aunt claims the ultimate child-friendly boat, though. We love to go for boat rides, which are always readily available, and love to take a trip up and down the river, but what the smaller cousins had not really experienced, was the joy of water sports. They watched Jack and I tube, kneeboard and water ski a lot, and maybe have hopped on once or twice, but last summer was the summer for them. We all piled in “Sandy’s Beach” (The name of my aunt’s boat), and took off with a big 4 person tube behind us. Tucker went first with his mom, Aunt Amy.

The two of them screamed and laughed their heads-off. Soon it was Haine’s turn (Tucker’s brother), and I went on with him. We had a blast, and when Claire joined it got even more fun. I will never forget the giggles or the smiles that I saw on that tube. Lastly, Uncle Chris wanted to have some fun, so Aunt Amy and I got on. I think Chris and the kids might have had more fun watching us, being hurtled around and thrown up in the air, then we actually did. Either way it was a great experience.

Now you might be thinking, “How does that have anything to do with The Red?” Well to answer your question, the actual trip has a lot more to do with that cottage than you think. First of all, there is a lot more to tubing than just getting pulled behind the boat. There is a ton of before and after work gone into it, which all happened on The Red lawn or dock. Also, after we were done tubing, the kids were eager for more so we swam our hearts out on the beach and waterfront of The Red. So really, more of the memory has to do with The Red than actually tubing.

I am not going to end this story with “All in all The Red is a great place to be, and I am happy to have it.” Partly because all the teachers reading this would freak out, and partly because The Red means more to me than that. Not that that isn’t true, I am glad to have The Red and I am thankful for all the memories I have of it, it really is a great place to be, but The Red is more than a cottage, it is a home. It is a place to be yourself, and let go. It is a place to feel happy, grumpy, grateful, excited and above all, a place to enjoy the river, and whoever is there with you. Whether that is friends, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins or siblings; it doesn’t matter. The point is, The Red is a place that brings people together, and is somewhere you can always find love, and that is what I am truly grateful for.

By Kate Modler, Tremont Island

Kate Modler recently completed 6th grade at Bradford Elementary School,in Denver Colorado. Kate started enjoying writing, when a teacher gave her class a notebook, and promised that the students could write anything they liked, and the school would publish the material. Kate thought this was a grand idea and so far has had several of her stories published. In July 2013, Kate wrote her first “TI Life” article: “I am 10 years old… What my summer is all about.” Not only did the article capture what Island Life is all about, but many commented with their own feelings. One special tribute came from Judy Keeler, “Kate's article has me teary and sniffling as I look out on Oak Island--moved by a child who has "found her voice" and so passionately expresses the joy and pure pleasures of River life. As a 34 year veteran of primary education and as one who delights in a year-round River residence, I appreciate and applaud Kate's talents and joy.

  • The Red House, Tremont Island, Admiralty Islands

    The Red House, Tremont Island, Admiralty Islands

  • The annual shoe race

    The annual shoe race

  • The Pinata

    The Pinata

  • The Owners: Aunt Amy, Uncle Chris and  Cousins Karen and Craig

    The Owners: Aunt Amy, Uncle Chris and Cousins Karen and Craig


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Connie Johnson
Comment by: Connie Johnson
Left at: 2:28 PM Wednesday, July 15, 2015
Loved your story and the pictures Kate. What wonderful memories you are making every summer with parents, siblings, cousins, grandparents and Aunts & Uncles. I am sure it will just keep getting better as the years go by.
Wishing you and your entire family the best summer ever.
Lily Gold
Comment by: Lily Gold
Left at: 1:38 PM Sunday, January 14, 2018
Jack in The Mud is adorable!
Mollie Cliffe
Comment by: Mollie Cliffe
Left at: 11:02 AM Thursday, August 2, 2018
Hi Kate,
I hate to disappoint you but "the Red" was in your past but it was the cottage next to it and between the red an John's that you may remember coming to (the Mathews a grey cottage that burned) and spending time playing with what they called the Red which was always owned by the Wright family grandfather put a tent on the spot the red cabin is on and my Aunt Chissy Wright Smith and my grandmother Norma Wright Westcott that own the red until it was sold to Amy and Karen. There were many Smith children that you probably spent time with at the Red.
It was probably called the Smith cottage because back then they called cottages by the childrens names...and my grandmother's children bought the White "Edgewyth" next to the Red. When you wrote this in our Tremont book I was meaning to correct you. No harm done and we have all had a good time on the Island.