Garden Island grew from merely a dot
Written by Kim Lunman
posted on November 13, 2011 22:56
Comment by: Brian Johnson ( )
Left at: 8:28 AM Thursday, November 17, 2011
Great story, Kim. Always something new to learn, for instance, I didn't know the streets were named. I well remember the ferry stopping there to pick up passengers and deliver supplies and mail. I remember Captain Fawcett pointing out the 'approach limits to the dock for the ferry. It had something to do with lining up the tower of the office building to the end of the pier or else "you'll be aground for sure." Well done!
Comment by: Joan Russell ( )
Left at: 11:02 AM Thursday, May 24, 2012
I was on the Wolfe Islander (II?) one summer day - probably in the 1950s when it called in at Garden Island to pick up or deliver (?) someone or some thing. The pier was on its last legs, and when the ropes were tied around the pilings (sorry, I don't know the terminology), the movement and weight of the ferry pulled the whole dock apart. Was it rebuilt?.
Comment by: Brian Johnson ( )
Left at: 7:48 PM Thursday, May 24, 2012
No, probably not. Maybe patched up a bit. The ferry continued to land there until the newer Upper Canada arrived in 1965 and didn't put as much pressure on the shore bollards as the previous Wolfe Islander. In 1976, the Wolfe Islander III arrived and did not land at Garden Island, thus breaking a 160 year honourary tradition.
Comment by: Veronica Hart ( )
Left at: 7:38 PM Sunday, March 9, 2014
Great to read about Garden Island, my great, great gr/father was born there in about 1830,but that is about all I know. Always wondered why he was born there when his father was born in Aleha, Spain (bit of a mystery as well), but I guess it was all to do with the work as original family came from england.Have never been able to find any birth records etc from Garden Island, maybe none existed!!
Comment by: Keir Weseloh
Left at: 12:25 PM Saturday, June 13, 2015
Great article! I'm lucky enough to spend my summers on Garden Island and can say its hardly changed at all. We're very lucky to have such a special place, and you can see and feel the history all around you! It was great to read a little more of the history of the island.
Comment by: Catherine McLeod
Left at: 1:06 PM Monday, June 15, 2015
While perusing the June issue of TI Life I saw the note regarding a comment being posted on this article. Here I am better late than never, but in the past month after the article was published I found out while doing my Family Tree that many of my ancestors including my great, great grandfather were shipwrights and carpenters working for Calvin on Garden Island. I have managed to obtain a copy of Marion Calvin Boyd's The Story of Garden Island, written in 1926, that describes all the work that went on and the environs of the island residents. Oh to have been a fly in the wall during that time when my family lived there. I have passed the island in my boat many times unaware it even existed and my connection to it. Now I just need to find a way to be able to visit the island.
Comment by: Bernie Schraw
Left at: 8:38 PM Saturday, January 16, 2016
Nice article! About 30 years ago my Aunt Dorothy Dix Krause sent me several letters regarding the Dix family as they relate to Garden Island. Her father William Overton Dix (my grandfather) was born on the Island in 1875. His father Captain James Dix was also born on the Island around1849. He was a well known on the Great Lakes hauling timber back to the Island where he resided.The timber was made into rafts and floated up the St. Lawrence to be sold. His brother Joseph Jr.was also a captian.Another brother John Dix was a Captian on the Schooner Maud. Their father, the aforementioned Joseph Dix, was born in Swansea, Wales in 1815. He was apprenticed in Liverpool as a sailmaker later moving to Garden Island around 1849. He was twice married and fathered 14 children who were to the best of my knowledge born on the Island.His first wife Margaret Jorden gave birth to a daughter named Patience in 1856. Margaret died as a result of childbirth and Patience died 2days later. Very sad story, Margaret who is my second great grandmother was only 36 at death.
Anyone having additional info on this historic family please feel free to contact me.I would like to have some photos if possible.
Comment by: Jan Normandale
Left at: 12:10 PM Friday, August 26, 2016
I was told many stories about spending summers as a youth on Garden Island by Bob/Robert Calvin. Needless to say I won't bring up personal history but I worked with 'Bob' for 10 years as a director of a pension investment group focused on real estate investment. Bob was genial and entertaining telling stories of idyllic summers on the island. Last I saw Bob he was retired and living in Toronto in the area known as Oriole Park.
Comment by: Carol Rowland (Oshawa, Ont)
Left at: 8:35 AM Sunday, July 23, 2017
Interesting article! Just this past week while working on my family tree, I discovered that my great great great uncle Benjamin Davy worked as a ship wright on Garden Island in the md to late 1800's. He and his wife Charlotte (Birmingham) Davy (whos family I am descended from) lived and raised their family on the island for a number of years.
Comment by: Carol Rowland (Oshawa, Ont)
Left at: 8:44 AM Sunday, July 23, 2017
Interesting article! Just this past week while working on my family tree, I discovered that my great great great uncle Benjamin Davy worked as a ship wright/carpenter on Garden Island in the mid to late 1800's. He and his wife Charlotte (Birmingham) Davy (whose family I am descended from) lived and raised their family on the island for a number of years. I am looking for any distant cousins who may be able to add any interesting stories about this time in our Canadian history.
Comment by: Christine Hilt
Left at: 10:00 AM Tuesday, February 13, 2018
Many of my Irish ancestors (Quinn) were ship wrights on Garden Island so I loved being able to learn more about my Canadien roots. Thanks!
Apex, North Carolina, United States
Comment by: James Angrove
Left at: 5:39 PM Tuesday, August 28, 2018
My Great grand father was Captain James Dix. He married a French Canadian girl who also was living on the island I believe and her name was Hickey. My father believed the Hickeys were possibly part Cree as well, as she had quite dark skin, originally from Chicoutimi, Quebec where there is a large Cree nation. Her family had a sail loft on the island from what i was told. They also built log rafts and would ride them down the St. Lawrence to Trois Riviere.
Comment by: John Calvert
Left at: 7:54 AM Tuesday, January 15, 2019
I am the grandson of Cecil Milligan (1884 - 1925) and :Hattie Milligan 1888 - 1975). Cecil was the Captain of the Westmount after his Father's (Alexander Milligan) stroke. Are there any photos of Cecil Milligan or the Westmount?
Rumour is that Cecil Milligan was forced to give up ships by Hattie just after their wedding. Hattie and Cecil went on the Westmount for their honeymoon where she was constantly sea sick and she forced him give up his command. He then start a store very close to Welland Canal in St. Catharine offering ship supplies.
Also are there any photos of his father and grandfather. I belief both were given the name Alexander Milligan without any middle name or way to distinguish one from the other.
Thank you for time.