Written by Tom Weldon
posted on May 06, 2016 12:30
The St Lawrence River has run through my life since I was born. As a child, my family enjoyed each summer docked at the TI Club, on a 38-foot River Queen houseboat, benefitting from River life as we swam, boated, fished and explored all the wonders this region holds.
Since childhood, I have been on a lifelong River Quest - to learn and experience all I can about the River, in its entirety. My first job in the 1000 Islands was a dockhand, tying boats to a dock. My first business venture was running two small motels, in Alexandria Bay. The privilege of sharing the wonders of this area has always been a passion of mine. From running the motels, to serving as the executive director of the Alexandria Bay Chamber of Commerce and currently managing Singer Castle on Dark Island, as well as two other private islands, this desire to increase awareness and the love of the 1000 Islands region, continues.
On May 6th the River’s Aquatarium, will officially open; what bet
ter first-stop-shopping for things to do in the 1000 Islands than the Aquatarium, which has taken so many of the aspects of the region and tied them all together in one place.
Singer Castle is honored to have our library replicated within the building and have lent them a suit of armor, to add to the ambiance of the exhibit. I have sat on the steering committee for the Aquatarium, for the past three years, and truly have enjoyed working with the others, who love to share all the things that one can do in the region. Being a long-time River Rat, I came to find out, the more I know about the 1000 Islands, the less I know about the 1000 Islands!
In addition to my role on the Aquatarium board, I am on the RiverQuest committee. I realize having relationships with other tourism partners in the area, allows us to continue to find new ways to help people easily navigate the many things there are to do – from castles to lighthouses, to antique boat rides, arts and entertainment, dining and shopping, hiking, boating, swimming, sightseeing or just sitting with a good book at the edge of the River – the list is never ending.
As RiverQuest partners, we are all in this together. We need one another to help promote and encourage visitors to come to each of our sites and see why this is truly one unique and wonderful place to be.
When we take the time to share information about other events, encourage visits to area businesses, and talk about our own experiences, we all benefit. The next generation is watching and learning from us. Our children and grandchildren will be the next ones to benefit from visiting, exploring and learning to appreciate the value of the region, its history, its lessons and our ability to work together to bring in others who will be enriched by their own River Quest.
By Tom Weldon, President, Singer Castle, Dark Island, NY.
Tom Weldon is the President of Dark Island Tours Inc., St. Elmo Island Inc., and Belle Island Inc. He lives on Wellesley Island, with his wife Kerri, and children William, Micah and Mary.