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TI Life in January 2012

Happy New Year!  The River is quiet which gives everyone time to read about it, and its history.   

Dave Whitford returns with 50 Year Old Sailing Memories, …  Robert Matthews’ presents T I Collectables, Part III, Wheelock Souvenir China, and Lynn McElfresh describes what happens when there is Water Water Everywhere….

In December we learned that a “Big One” did not get away…  Rich Clarke tells us about it in Chasing the World Record Muskie…

We look at two wars:  Shaun L. McLaughlin introduces Bonnycastle versus Johnston, (yes, our Pirate Bill Johnston), because 2012 marks the 175th anniversary of the start of the Patriot War.  Michael Whitaker presents The War is Coming… starting the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812. 

Dr. Richard Withington shares his 2012 The Essence of an American Christmas  letter – published, especially, for winter Islanders!

David Bull asks TI Life readers what the islands will look like in  20 Years from now?;  Kim Lunman introduces Mudlunta's Matriarchs  and I say, Thank you Frank Eames.

New Contributors

Shaun J. McLaughlin - Bonnycastle versus Johnston

Shaun McLaughlin maintains two history blogs: one on the Patriot War and other Canadian/American border clashes, and one on William (Bill) Johnston, the Thousand Islands legend. A researcher, journalist and technical writer for over thirty years, he holds a master’s degree in journalism. Living on a hobby farm in Eastern Ontario, he does freelance writing.

Captain Rich Clarke - Chasing the World Record Muskie…

Rich Clarke and his wife Georgeen started their charter business in 1980.  Sign Man Charters is a very- successful, full-service, business serving the Thousand Islands.   Their home port is French Bay Marina in Clayton, New York.  Rich’s season starts in May and runs until December 15th.  Muskie, Northern Pike, Walleyes and Bass are the prize catches.  This past December their charter brought in a giant Muskie.
David Bull - 20 Years from now?

David Bull, a resident of Howe Island, is TIARA’s Executive Director. David has served since 1996., including two terms as President.

Established in 1975, TIARA is a grassroots Canadian group of both seasonal and year-round residents in the Thousand Islands.

Readers’ Exchange

Reference to:  Hal “Moose” McCarney, ‘The Godfather’, written by Brian Johnson: 

 I would like to remind viewers that they can still follow "Hal" on the Bird Studies Canada (BSC) website.  With financial assistance from Hal McCarney's nephew Neil and his son Chris, as well as the LCBO, the TIA, and many others, I was able to enlist the assistance of BSC with the placing of satellite transmitters on two juvenile bald eagles from 1000 Islands nests at Ivy Lea and Gananoque in 2009.  We lost the signal of "Moose" over Pennsylvania in about 5 months but "Hal" has been doing well to date.  "Hal" spent the first winter near Washington, DC, but since then has been in the Wolfe Island - Cape Vincent area of eastern Lake Ontario.  We await signs that "Hal" has chosen a mate and 'settled down' when he matures to breeding age in 2013.  Here are the steps to following "Hal" on line: BSC Research - Species at risk - Bald Eagle - Eagle Tracker.

A menu at the right side of the eastern North America map allows the viewer to view various tracked eagles, including "Hal", during various periods of time.  A click and drag red box over the data points will zoom-in for a closer look. I would also like to point out that Hal McCarney was very helpful in encouraging me to see that additional artificial bald eagle platforms were constructed by the Leeds County Stewardship Council.  Hal believed very strongly in the recovery of the bald eagle to the 1000 Islands, - and, his namesake bird of almost 3 years of age is out there near Wolfe Island.  Please check out his movements on line! Bud Andress, Canadian Co-chair of the Raptor Working Group of Eastern Ontario and Upper St. Lawrence. [See The Eagle Watch Update by Bud Andress ; and A Fraternity of River Rats – the Admirals by Kim Lunman]

Ian Coristine’s Gift to Winter

One of the only good things about summer’s end is the anticipation of receiving Ian Coristine’s “Wallpaper Image” throughout the winter.  All subscribers to TI Life receive his image on the 1st of the month. 


This month Ian wrote about his January image, “ Perhaps this will prompt you to share interesting stories of encounters with fog on the river, which can be pretty hair-raising. I well know, because I had just such an experience, not in my boat but in my plane while shooting images for one of the books a few years ago. There’s not room enough to relate the story here so it will have to wait until the book I've been writing with Donna Walsh Inglehart; One in a Thousand is released, hopefully sometime this summer.” 

Ian has received a several stories which he will share on February 1st and he sent this as he is unable to post photographs. 

Steve Beste, a lifelong summer resident in Chippewa Bay wrote:  Your picture of "the buoy boat" reminded me of two nights in 1965 when the teenagers of Chippewa Bay invented "buoy bopping".  We probably re-invented it, but being young, everything was new and ours alone. For two nights, we got ten people together, loaded them onto a buoy, and set it rocking, with the goal of getting the light under water.  I don't think we succeeded, as the buoys are a lot bigger and more buoyant than they seem.  But it was a wonderful carnival ride.  It was also a guilty one. We did make sure that no ships were in sight, but we knew we shouldn't be messing with the buoys. When our parents heard about it, they absolutely forbade us, and that was that.  Except for this picture 46 years later.

Below are three of six new images Ian gave to TI Life.   We now have 83 header images!

Winter on the River

Dr. Dick Withington sent this note: “These photographs show that there is activity on the river in January. We took a load of contractors and equipment to Carleton Island this week to replace a communications tower and pick up some additional equipment that wanted to get off the island for the winter.” 

Thors Hammer at Carleton Island

Gilded Age Trivia Questions

How much Thousand Islands history do you know?   Rex Ennis writes:  “Here follows ten trivia questions. Answers to the questions can be submitted in the comments section below. List your answers in numerical order. The first 5 correct entries will win an autographed copy of Saints, Sinners and Sailors.” 

1. Edward Anthony, of Point Marguerite, Alexandria Bay, and a Mr. Scoville founded what well known photographic supply company in Binghamton, NY?

2. On which island did John D. Babcock manufacturer of the Babcock Billiard Tables in Syracuse, NY have his summer home?

3. What family from Hammond, NY, who summered on Wellesley Island, was related to the Imperial Dentist of Czar Nicholas II?

4. What Ottawa journalist and owner of Canadian Island #77, was trustee of Hockey’s Stanley Cup?

5. Philip M. Sharpless of Chester, PA and Grenell Island was the manufacturer of what hand operated agricultural device?

6. LeHigh University was rescued from a fiscal crisis by a Little LeHigh Island and South Bethlehem, PA resident and University Trustee, what was his name?

7. The New Frontenac Hotel, as it was christened by C. G. Emery, was designed by whom?

8. In 1900, Helen Gridley’s underwater property rights lawsuit against the Thousand Island Park Association reached the United States Supreme Court, true or false?

9. What is the name of the hamlet of Grindstone named for quarry operator Robert Forsyth’s home in Scotland?

10. The owner of Numbered Boat 12 and builder of the steamer Governor Cobb, the first turbine steamer built in the US, and owner of St. Peter and Rob Roy Islands was whom?

[ Hint: As Rex wrote the book, I suspect that the answers are there! ]

Winter is Fun in the North County

Thousand Islands Art Center Save the River Indian River Lakes Conservancy
Rockport Winter Carnival Thousand Islands Land Trust Cabin Fever Antiques

The old and the new

Thanks to Lillian and Paul Cooledge for sending us the photographs below – to properly begin 2012.   Michael Folsom profiled Lillian and Paul in Thousands of Island Images in December 2010. 

Stay safe and enjoy the winter weather on or near an island, on the mainland, in Kingston, Gananoque, Ivy Lea, Hill Island,  Rockport, Brockville, Cape Vincent, Clayton, Grindstone Island,  Fishers Landing, Alexandria Bay, Wellesley Island, Chippewa Bay, Morristown, Ogdensburg or anywhere else (dreaming of the above)!

Susan W. Smith, Editor,

Special thanks to TI Life  editors David Ray and Jane Taylor.

  • Old and new. (Anna and Turbines)  New Year's Day 2012 by Lillian Cooledge

    Old and new. (Anna and Turbines) New Year's Day 2012 by Lillian Cooledge

  • "LCM Elizabeth" and "Birchglen" crossing paths on December 24. L.Cooledge

  • Buoy 225 in Clayton being picked up on the afternoon of December 20th. L. Cooledge

    Buoy 225 in Clayton being picked up on the afternoon of December 20th. L. Cooledge

  • "Birchglen" passing buoys stored at the Clayton Regional Dock on December 24. L. Cooledge

  • January 3, 2012 overlooking Goose Bay...temperature 7 degrees. F. Lillian ooledge

    January 3, 2012 overlooking Goose Bay...temperature 7 degrees. F. Lillian ooledge

  • Diamond Island, January 14. Sunny and cold, Zero F.  Paul  Cooledge

    Diamond Island, January 14. Sunny and cold, Zero F. Paul Cooledge

  • Bridge to Morgan Island.  January 14. Photo by Paul Cooledge

    Bridge to Morgan Island. January 14. Photo by Paul Cooledge


Posted in: From the Editor
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Liz Huff
Comment by: Liz Huff ( )
Left at: 10:43 AM Sunday, January 15, 2012
The Cooledge photographs are wonderful Susan...another great issue. Thanks hugely for this beautiful publication.
Larry Beck
Comment by: Larry Beck ( )
Left at: 7:18 AM Monday, January 16, 2012
Paul and Lil Cooledge have taken some great pictures and always find a way to let you feel that you are right. Love the river and thanks for the photographic insights.
Heidi Lessard
Comment by: Heidi Lessard ( )
Left at: 9:05 AM Friday, January 27, 2012
Love the "buoy bopping" photo!