2015 = Fifteen years into the new Century; January = Record low temperatures and TI Life = Ten eclectic articles:
A provocative essay by Hunter Grimes, Let’s Make Soup…and Thoughts on Overlooked Food Sources; a tribute for a very good politician Bob McEwen, The St. Lawrence Congressman! by Cary Brick.
Lynn McElfresh goes hunting for a Pirate in Pirate Hideouts, and Jane Rippeteau Heffron shares Seventy Summers… 1974 Interview with Grant Allen Peacock.
I introduce Poetry by Thomas K. Hunt, a Clayton native, and if you like flying, then Brian Johnson takes us on a New-Year’s Tail-Spin.
We have two shipping stories: Richard Palmer’s "I'll never make it. I'll never make it" - An 1812 Vignette; and Laurie Donohue’s Catastrophe of the Steamer "Wisconsin.”
Debra Widowiak arranged A Surprise Night in a Castle… for her daughter - what a special gift; while Richard Calabrese Jr. convinces us that Winter may be better…
| ||Jane Rippeteau Heffron - Seventy Summers… 1974 Interview with Grant Allen Peacock|
Jane was born and raised in Watertown, NY, spending summers in the Thousand Islands. She graduated from the University of Rochester and then earned a MSc degree at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. She was a reporter for The Washington Post in Washington, DC prior to joining Business Week magazine in New York City. When she and her husband moved to England, she joined the Financial Times, and later ran a publishing department for investment research at Citigroup. The family has a home on Wellesley Island.
| ||Richard Calabrese Jr. - Winter may be better… |
Richard has been on the River since 1972, when his parents purchased a home in Alexandria Bay. He's an avid fisherman (catch and release only!), a lover of the river and an antique wooden boat enthusiast. When not at the River he lives in Rochester, NY. Kim Lunman, writer and publisher of the print magazine, Island Life, presented a profile of Richard and Pullman Island in Castle Rest, Past and Present, January, 2011.
| ||Laurie Donohue - Catastrophe of the Steamer "Wisconsin"|
Laurie (Laura) Donohue was born in Alexandria Bay and also lived in Utica, Lowville & Redwood, NY. She currently lives in Watertown with her husband Ryan. She is a “gleaner" in genealogy terms, which means she volunteers to sift through large streams of data, looking for names, dates, places, etc. to help people who are searching for relatives in St. Lawrence and Jefferson Counties. “That,” she says, “was what I was doing when I found articles about the fire on the “Wisconsin.”
| ||Debra Wdowiak - A Surprise Night in a Castle…|
Debra Wdowiak lives in Kirkwood, outside Binghamton, NY, where she and her son, Cody, and he fiancé, Kallie Root, recently established The Night Kitchen, a popular restaurant specializing in southern cooking. When not busy at the restaurant, they venture north to Clayton and their family cottage, purchased by Debra’s parents back in the ’50s. She says,” I have been coming to the 1000 Islands for virtually my entire life. My brother and I grew up enjoying life on the river during summer vacations. We spent hours boating, fishing, swimming, and snorkeling… it is for us ‘the happiest place on earth’.”
Dennis McCarthy Catches the River…
Irene Hale, Admiralty Islands
Irene Alta Clarke Hale’s obituary began by saying Irene, 81, had “made her last trip on the River.” Irene and her husband William (Bill) Hale spent summers on Hale Island, in the Admiralty Group. They first settled in Camillus, NY but summered in the Islands and more recently became permanent residents of Gananoque. Bill and Irene were featured in Hale and Hearty–A Life on an Island, written by Heather Chitty in our October 2012 issue.
Sandy and Kenneth Gordon, Gananoque, ON
It is also with sadness that we report the death of Sandy Gordon, 63, and his father Kenneth Gordon, 91, on November 17th and November 25th respectively. In April 2014, Tom King, presented a special article for TI Life, From Coal Yard to Condos – Part Three: The Gordon Family Era. He wrote, “When Ken and Jean Gordon purchased the Cuttle Marine property in 1976 they had a vision that this would be a business that they could share with their family for years to come. As operations currently wind-down I don’t think they could have ever imagined just how successful of a family venture Gordon Marine would turn into over the course of almost forty years. It truly was ‘The Family Business on the Water’”. Gordon Marine closed at the end of the 2013 season, but the family’s impact will be felt for many years to come. Scores of customers and friends express their condolences to matriarch, Jean and surviving brothers and sisters, Don, Neil, Ross and Jan.
Betty Pease Gilmore, Murray Isle, NY
And we heard sad news from Murray Isle. “Murrayite” Betty Pease Gilmore, 95, passed away 5, December 2014,after a brief illness. Betty was about 3 years old when she first came to the River and Murray Isle where the Dennison (1917)/Pease family would tent on the north side at Dennison Point. In the late 1920s Boyd & Ada Dennison sold the camp and point to Ada's brother, Levi Pease (Betty's father).
In 1940 Betty married Durrance Gilmore and they were married for 72 years. Durry died 7, May 2012, at the age of 96. In 1954 Betty and Durry completed the "Knotty Nook" (a small cottage) which they and friends had built by hand - before power. The next 40 plus years they truly enjoyed the river with friends and family; opening when the ice was gone and closing before the river froze. Friends today remember all the good times they shared with "The Gilmore's." [Our thanks to Bruce Gilmore and Sarah Miller for providing these photographs and biographical material.]
Toronto Boat Show
Throughout the week of January 10 – 18th, several Islanders served as River Ambassadors. RiverQuest hosted a booth, presenting written materials and videos for passing mariners. I attended on Saturday, the opening day. I joined Trish Buote, Director of Development for Aquatarium/RiverQuest, Bill Rogerson, Executive Director Aquatarium and Tom Weldon, President Dark Island Inc. (Singer Castle). Several other volunteers were scheduled to assist throughout the week.
I was struck by the number of enthusiastic visitors to the booth, but I was also disappointed with some of the comments, “We would love to go, but we don’t know how to contact marinas so we can purchase gas, supplies and have a safe mooring for the night.” “We hear that the border is a real problem, and you can’t cross over very easily.” And… and … and…
I will take our comments back to our village, town and city officials, in the hopes that we can find a simple way to truly say… Put a Thousand Islands in your life….
Can You Help?
Any free time to help TI Life? We need to update our pages, and make sure our Links are still live. If so contact me at email@example.com (c/o Susan Smith).
Suggestions for assignments include:
THE PLACE – Our Natural Setting. This section was originally written by Paul Malo when he created TI Life in 2006. Is it current? Are there topics that should be included? Are the links live?
THE PLACE – Communities. This section was also written by Paul, but over time some of the sections have been updated. We are missing material, and ask for one volunteer to help coordinate an update.
THE PLACE – Parks and Preserves. A coordinator could help make this section more robust. There are many families who camp in the region and they need more information.
THE PLACE – History. This section is a work in process… A volunteer is needed to critique the articles and provide suggestions for new topics.
THE PLACE – Rentals and B&Bs. New Section to be created. We want to start listing special B&Bs, as well as links to rental properties and agents. Why? How many times have I been asked if I know of a perfect place to sleep 16, for a week next summer… Too many! We do not take advertising, but we will ask those that we feature, to hit that Donate Button!
Please Don’t Forget
Remember our facebook page throughout the month, as we post information and photographs & follow us on
We also appreciate having you hit our button and donate!
Question: Do you write about The River - near to it, from above or below? If so, please consider submitting an article. Let us know what you like, or dislike, about TI Life, so we can all share more ideas. And… most of all; please ask questions and leave comments.
By Susan W. Smith, Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
Special thanks to our editors: David Ray & Bill Stallan; and proof readers Jane Taylor, Beverly L. Ouderkirk & Georgia Barker.