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Susan Weston Smith (New Soft Cover)

First Summer People: Thousand Islands 1650-1910  

By Susan Weston Smith

The original book was published in 1993.  A paperback version published 2015 and is now available throughout the winter at:

  • The Co-op Store in Clayton, NY - 720 James St. Ste. 3, Clayton NY.  Phone:   315-686 - 3242. 
  • A&E Books, 1000 Islands Parkway at LaRue Mills Road. 
  • Leeds County Books,  73 King St W, Brockville, ON K6V 3R1 Phone:  (613) 342-5728
  • Or from the author at Susan W. Smith,   

About the Book 

Why would anyone name an island Deathdealer, Bloodletter, Astounder or Dumbfounder?  Why does the international boundary zigzag between the United States and Canada? Who named this region the Thousand Islands? Who were the first explorers, surveyors, settlers and tourists? 

Susan Weston Smith's fascination with the history of the Thousand Islands led her to libraries, museums and archives, to the homes of fellow islanders, and eventually to the British Hydrographic Department in Taunton, England, where, almost accidentally, she happened upon Capt. William FitzWilliam Owen's original survey map, hand-drawn in 1816. That map had not been unrolled in more than a century.  
There are more than 900 islands reviwed in the book - with the history of their name, a description of the island at the turn of the century and who were the first summer people to own the island. 

Smith has a variety of studies of the islands to her credit, including A History of Recreation in the Thousand Islands, and A Photograph Inventory of Historic Sites in the Canadian Sector of the Thousand Islands, both written for Park Canada, St. Lawrence Islands National Park, now known as Thousand Islands National Park.