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“The Summer Cottage: Retreats of the 1000 Islands”

In 2007, the late Paul Malo announced that a new Thousand Islands book, was "in the works". Written by Syracuse writer, Kathleen Quigley and photographed by well-known Syracuse artist, James Scherzi – Paul, who served as an architectural advisor on the project, professed, “We anticipate that this major publishing event will be a historic landmark. …” (See TI Life September 2007 Important New Book)Published by Rizzoli in March 2010

Rizzoli, part of Italy's RCS Media Group, will publish The Summer Cottage: Retreats of the 1000 Islands in late March 2010. If you’re looking for the perfect summer book to read or to give as a gift, then you are in luck. A preview copy, from  Rizzoli, arrived a few days ago and I was not disappointed!


Twenty-four Island homes are featured, which is a tribute to the tenacity of both author and photographer. Not only did they need permission to enter these properties, they also needed to capture each with the correct historical notes and each photograph in the right light. In fact, Kathleen explains how Jim Scherzi and his assistant Dan Guzalak “sought to capture the amazing array of architecture and interiors, juxtaposed again the beauty and majesty of the river.”  In my opinion, both the author and the photographer succeeded in their goal.

The book is fully illustrated with photos of both exterior landscapes and interior decoration. Unlike the traditional tour-boat excursion, where one can only see the exteriors, this book takes you into each home. For instance, you go into a drawing room, a rustic kitchen and  a wonderfully-decorated bedroom. You will see that the homes of the 21st Century continue to capture the splendor of the famous Golden Era. Also, you will see painted lattices, walkways, retaining walls, water features, boat houses, and spectacular views - on both sides of the international border.  Rizzoli catalogues the book in its House & Home – Decorating category.

"It's always an exciting event when a new book is published about my favorite place. I'm very much looking forward to seeing what Kathleen has put together and looking at the Thousand Islands through someone else's eyes."

Ian Coristine, Raleigh Island.

As the jacket notes describe: “most charming and inspiring houses of the region, which range in style from Eastlake and Queen Anne to Arts and Crafts.” These homes also span 120 years of island living from Occident, constructed in 1874 to a 1990s home on Bluff Island.

Kathleen spent her summers on Lake Ontario and credits her infatuation with the islands to her father who took her, as a child, on tours of the Islands to explore each bay and channel. When I interviewed her for my review, she was quick to explain her passion for the unique eco-system of the St. Lawrence River. Her appreciation for preservation comes through in her introduction:  “Environmental groups, such as the Thousand Islands Land Trust and Save the River, are helping to conserve a rare way of life and pristine ecosystem…..”

“Kathleen Quigley’s book for Rizzoli about the Thousand Islands had been anticipated with eagerness by the late Paul Malo. Paul's passion about the river, its architectural heritage and natural beauty was his constant companion in his writings and everyday life. I know he was immensely helpful to Kathleen, a talented writer in her own right, with research and contacts. Showcasing the islands was so important to him and out of that love of region came TI Life. Now Kathleen's book will give our "river" an even broader audience. Bravo!”

Trude Brown Fitelson, TI Park

Kathleen also expressed her sincere appreciation to the many individuals who showed their support throughout the process, particularly Bill Danforth, past executive director of the Antique Boat Museum, Architect William Grater as well as Phyllis Gardner, Phoebe Tritton,  Trude Brown Fitelson and Ian Coristine.


At the conclusion of the book, Jim Scherzi describes his impression of the Islands as, “After photographing and compiling the many images in this book, I remain awed by the way the confluence of natural beauty, art, architecture and history has created a true wonder of the world”.  Indeed, high praise for our islands!

As this is a book review, I must give you the pros, which are too many to capture in a few words, and the cons. Well, I can only think of one –only 24 properties are shown and as we know there are hundreds in the Islands.

Be sure to attend a book signing, to meet Kathleen and purchase her beautiful book,  and ask her to return soon and capture more!

A peek into The Summer Cottage: Retreats of the 1000 Islands  by Kathleen Quigley and photographed by Jim Scherzi.

Napoleon's Hat St Margarettes, 1886 wyanoke
© James Scherzi from The Summer Cottage by Kathleen Quigley, Rizzoli, 2010

Napoleon’s Hat

© James Scherzi from The Summer Cottage by Kathleen Quigley, Rizzoli, 2010

St. Margarettes

© James Scherzi from The Summer Cottage by Kathleen Quigley, Rizzoli, 2010


Always Neh Mahbin Kitchen Rivercroft
  © James Scherzi from The Summer Cottage by Kathleen Quigley, Rizzoli, 2010


  © James Scherzi from The Summer Cottage by Kathleen Quigley, Rizzoli, 2010

Little Lehigh

  © James Scherzi from The Summer Cottage by Kathleen Quigley, Rizzoli, 2010


Occident Kitchen Sunnyside Living Room Dashwood Billiard Room
  © James Scherzi from The Summer Cottage by Kathleen Quigley, Rizzoli, 2010


  © James Scherzi from The Summer Cottage by Kathleen Quigley, Rizzoli, 2010


  © James Scherzi from The Summer Cottage by Kathleen Quigley, Rizzoli, 2010


About the author and the photographer

Kathleen Quigley is a widely-travelled writer whose work, on assignments to Africa, Asia, Australia, and the Caribbean, has appeared in The New York Times, Architectural Digest, Architectural Record, Town & Country, The Wall Street Journal, and other publications.
Photographer James Scherzi's work has appeared in Architectural Digest, Better Homes and Gardens, Bon Appétit, Family Circle, Gourmet, Metropolitan Home, Rolling Stone, and The New York Times Magazine.


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.


Ann Nardi Bennett
Comment by: Ann Nardi Bennett ( )
Left at: 10:32 AM Monday, February 15, 2010
I will be so happy to add this book to my collection of books on the Thousand Islands. I am currently living in Manassas, Va. but lived in Clayton while growing up. Clayton the Islands, and the river are in my heart.
Dave Fownes
Comment by: Dave Fownes ( )
Left at: 12:14 PM Monday, February 15, 2010
Looks spectacular. Will this be available on line to buy?
Mike Joyce
Comment by: Mike Joyce ( )
Left at: 4:56 PM Saturday, February 20, 2010
I am amazed that an Italian company would be publishing this. And very thankful too. Pretty rare to see something that comes close to Ian Coristine's work. Every summer we pick a local book to give to house guests and this will be THE book for 2010.
Jill Jellett
Comment by: Jill Jellett ( )
Left at: 9:13 PM Monday, April 26, 2010
Just received our copy of The Summer Cottage! Just what we were hoping for. Lots of well photographed summer homes on the islands. I was especially pleased to be able to see inside the wonderful homes. Great architecture, fabulous gardens and welcoming porches. A very enjoyable read for islanders and guests to the Thousand Islands.
Leonard Busse
Comment by: Leonard Busse ( )
Left at: 4:11 PM Tuesday, May 11, 2010
I would like to know if you have issued any copies of your book yet to local libraries in my area I have been going up to the island fo 25 years and would like to look at your book Thank you
Susie Smith
Comment by: Susie Smith
Left at: 4:24 PM Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Thank you for your comment asking about having Kathleen Quigley's book in local libraries. I know they are available in local books stores. They will be a popular addition to island book shelves.
Dolores R. Buckley
Comment by: Dolores R. Buckley ( )
Left at: 6:38 AM Wednesday, September 7, 2011
I am researching an architect who designed our home in Worcester,Ma Frank T. Lent who died in 1919 His home "Wee Rocks was mentioned in his biography. Do you have any information in the Thousand Islands was mentioned. Do you have any infor? or picture. Dolores