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Mr. and Mrs. A.C. McIntyre is a marvelous means for sharing information about the Thousand Islands.  For those of us interested in history and  particularly in photography of the Thousand Islands,  can thank the TI Life team for sharing so many photographs over the past five years. 

Now, with this article, I am able to share several newly discovered photographs from the AC McIntyre’s family collection.

I can thank Sarah Ellen Smith, the niece of my wife Prudence, for my involvement. Sarah met David last year at her St. Lawrence Pottery store and learned David was AC McIntyre’s great grandson. Sarah insisted David meet her “Uncle Robert” and while he was unable to do so at the time, promised to meet later. True to his word, David and I had our meeting this summer.

You may be curious as to where this information has been all these years and why did it surface now? David, the great grandson of AC McIntyre, and his wife recently sold their house and the box containing these family items was rediscovered. At the time David received the box from his mother, he put it in the attic where it was neglected for forty years. David’s mother inherited the material from her father, Duncan McIntyre, the youngest of AC and Jane McIntyre’s eight children.

According to David, the following was written by his grandfather Duncan McIntyre with a couple of dates later penciled in by David’s mother.

David never hesitated to share and agreed to my scanning the following pictures:

AC McIntyre and his wife Jane Baker
A family portrait of Mr. and Mrs. AC McIntyre with five of their eight children. 
The above photograph probably dates to about 1873 after the birth of their fifth child, Anna Cora.

This stereoview, titled “Photo Grove”, might well be a picture of McIntyre’s island which he called Photo Island which was located in Densmore Bay opposite Point Vivian. It would be nice to know the identity of the people in the picture. Maybe they were three of Jane and AC McIntyre’s eight children.
Does the picture have any significance with AC McIntyre? My guess is it probably does as otherwise it would not have been in the box. Maybe it would help if we could read the title [shown below].


What else did I learn? On the marriage license both AC McIntyre and Jane Baker listed Brockville as their residence. The marriage ceremony took place in Heuvelton, New York [near Ogdensburg in St. Lawrence County]. Unfortunately the date on the license was not legible.

Also AC McIntyre had a pilot’s license which allowed him to pilot steamers on the St. Lawrence River between Cape Vincent and Ogdensburg.

Many [many, many] pictures were not labeled so it was not possible to identify much of the subject matter. Still we are fortunate that David was so willing to share because we know more about AC McIntyre today than we knew yesterday.

Note:  For those of you interested in learning more about AC McIntyre and his photography, please read Tom French’s excellent TI Life article article River History in 3-D

By Robert L. Matthews

Robert L. Matthews is  the author of two popular books:  Glimpses of St. Lawrence Summer Life: Souvenirs from the Thousand Islands: Robert and Prudence Matthews Collection, and A History of the Thousand Islands Yacht Club, published in 2009.   He and his wife Prudence (well known River artist whose work was presented in Hooked on Prudence in 2009) have one of the most extensive collections of  Thousand Islands memorabilia.  When not at their beautiful River cottage at Fisher’s Landing, they live in St. Petersburg, Florida.

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.


Tom French
Comment by: Tom French ( )
Left at: 9:39 PM Monday, October 14, 2013
Wow! Finally confirmed pictures of A.C. McIntyre! Thank you Robert and David! To think he'd taken thousands of photos but none indicating a self-portrait!

Nonetheless, these photos confirm the suspicions of A.C. McIntyre collectors because they show the identify of an unidentified man in several views. We thought it was A.C., but had no way of proving it.

The difficult to read title is "On Hart's Island," current location of Boldt Castle. The island originally belonged to Senator E.K. Hart prior to it being sold Boldt. The card is in our collection. I will need to look more closely to see if the individual is McIntyre.

Anne McDonald
Comment by: Anne McDonald ( )
Left at: 11:30 PM Monday, October 14, 2013
Some more interesting history regarding Mr. A.C. McIntyre. A.C. McIntyre's Photo Shop was located in Thousand Island Park ca 1875. It was the only shop that survived Great Fire of 1912 in Thousand Island Park. This fire destroyed our commercial district, the Columbian Hotel and 100 cottages on the east side of the Park. This little shop suffered from the fire and neglect and all the gingerbread and porches were torn off. The original photo of the Photo Shop taken by A.C. McIntyre was discovered and this Tent style Campground style shop was totally restored in 2005 with the help of funds raised by Thousand Island Park Landmark Society. It now serves as the Thousand Island Landmark Society Office and Shop. Stop in and view the original stereoptic photo (5ft by 3 ft) of his shop. Here is a link detailing the restoration of the shop . Also check our Thousand Island Park Landmark Society's Website which gives more details regarding the restoration of this shop. It is a small world after all.
Steve Glazer
Comment by: Steve Glazer ( )
Left at: 11:36 AM Wednesday, October 16, 2013
By the 1890s, some sources were attributing the ownership of McIntyre's cottage and Photo Island to Henry R. Heath, owner of Nobby Island and Devil's Oven. See, e.g., "The 'Phat Boy's' 18 Years on the St. Lawrence," a tourist guide published in 1891. Heath's properties were the subject of numerous McIntyre photographs, and McIntyre even named his own steam yacht after Nobby. See "Henry R. Heath: Union Soldier, Thousand Islands Pioneer (Part II)," TI Life, March 2011.
Laurie Murphy
Comment by: Laurie Murphy
Left at: 12:40 PM Thursday, August 21, 2014
So excited to finally see confirmed pictures of my gr-gr-gr-grandparents! The only pictures I have are of his grandaughter, Emma. Thank you for publishing it made my day to see the article.
Comment by: Karen
Left at: 12:34 AM Monday, February 1, 2016
Is it possible that this family is related to McIntrye & Heath, the famous black minstrel players?

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