TI History Museum to host Summer Evening in the Islands

(Gananoque, ON) After three years of extreme caution due to the pandemic and no chance to really get together and have a good time, the Thousand Islands History Museum will be holding its Summer Evening in the Islands Fundraiser on August 11.

The Thousand Islands History Museum will be holding its Summer Evening in the Islands Fundraiser on Flying Mallard Island on August 11. Lorraine Payette/for Postmedia Network

“We are bursting with excitement to celebrate our achievements with you at our first in-person gala in three years,” said Joanne van Dreumel, executive director of the museum. “Brian and Lynn Knudsen will host the celebration at their elegant summer home on Flying Mallard Island. With beverage in hand, you can meander the gardens, greet old and new friends, and listen to live music. And you can keep mementos of the evening from the Live and Silent Auctions, emceed by Alicia Gordon of Gordon’s Estate Services, and know that your support keeps us strong in preserving and interpreting our collective history.”

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Store at Darlingside Historic Site Threatened with Demolition

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Artifacts from the original store at Darlingside

by Lorraine Payette

(TLTI, ON) Thomas Darling would have been proud. A humble Scottish immigrant who started a cordwood business in Lansdowne in 1837, how could he ever have expected that today he and his family could be honoured with the preservation of his store and an interest by historians and local people in his historic tea industry artifacts? They are still there, carefully preserved and waiting to be enjoyed and understood in their original location in Township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands.

However, today, the original store is threatened with demolition unless people come forward to stop it. – to read more>

Waiting for the Parade a Triumph for Those Who Stayed Behind

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by Lorraine Payette, written September 10, 2014

“They also serve who only stand and wait.”
– John Milton

Whether rolling bandages, practicing for possible blackouts, or trying out leg make-up to substitute for impossible to come by silk stockings, the women who stayed behind while their men went to war always had a lot to do. And those whose men stayed home also felt a fierce duty to help in any way they could.

Waiting for the Parade chronicles the time spent by five women, each waiting in her own way for the war to end. One has sent two sons overseas, one a husband. Two have husbands who have stayed at home – one simply through no wish to enlist, the other to continue his job as a radio announcer reporting the daily news. The last is in perhaps the least enviable position of all – a German immigrant whose father has been placed in an internment camp on suspicion of being a Nazi sympathizer. – to read more>

Waiting for the Parade Keeps the Home Fires Burning

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Rehearsal Photos

written by Lorraine Payette, September 3, 2014

Time would come for roll call,
Time for us to part,
Darling I’d caress you
And press you to my heart…
– Lilli Marlene (translated by Tommie Connor, 1944)

(Gananoque, ON) World War II was a hard time for everyone involved, but it had a special significance for those who stayed behind, the women who kept the home fires burning. Always waiting, always hoping, always dreaming of the day when they would once again bring the family circle together they did everything they could for their men so far away and for all of those at home as well.

Waiting for the Parade focuses on five of these iconic women from Canadian history – each with her own loved one, each with her own reasons to stay strong, drawn together by fate to create a special friendship only people in such a situation could ever develop. One awaits her sons, another her husband. Two have husbands who have remained at home while the fifth carries the burden of being a German immigrant and daughter of a suspected Nazi sympathizer. Yet each has her own strengths, her own weaknesses, and contributes in her own way to make the interminable war time bearable for herself and the others. – to read more>

The Scandal that Rocked Rockport

by Lorraine Payette, written April 23, 2014

(Gananoque, Ontario) It has all the elements of a Hollywood movie – the richest man in town married a woman nearly 40 years his junior just 2 ½ months after the death of his first wife. Less than two years later, he died, disinheriting his family and leaving his new wife his entire estate. A trial ensued to try to undo the will, but in the end, she won everything… – to read more>

Thousand Islands Bridge 75 Years Old and Going Strong

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by Lorraine Payette, written August 18, 2013

(ALEXANDRIA BAY, NY) A hush fell over the crowd as the guest speaker stepped onto the platform at the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority property on Collins Landing in Alexandria Bay, NY. The large white festival tent was filled to capacity and more, with 300 people seated and others standing in ranks four and more deep around the perimeter to listen to Brockville, Ontario, historian Brian Phillips speak on the 75th Anniversary of the Thousand Islands Bridge, which connects Lansdowne, Ontario, Canada with Alexandria Bay, New York, US. More than 2,000 people had come out to participate in the celebrations, which included musicians, vendors and a field of 360 antique cars and vehicles which were polished up and ready to show off for the occasion.

“It’s great to have Brian Phillips as a resource, because he’s taken the time and learned all about it and was able to share that with everyone here,” said Shane Sanford, Bridge spokesman. – to read more>

Rockport’s 1st Annual Prohibition Days the Bees Knees

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by Lorraine Payette, written August 18, 2013

“They can play the bugle call like you’ve never heard before
Sounds so natural that you’ll wanna go to war
That’s just the best band in the land …”
– Alexander’s Rag Time Band

(ROCKPORT, ONTARIO) Hot cha! Grease his palm with silver, and the bull will sleep all night while you and your gal slip into the speakeasy for a taste of bathtub gin and some smokin’ hot blues. But wake him up, and it’s twenty-three skidoo!

During the 1st Annual Rockport Prohibition Days, August 16-18, all the gangsters and molls, flappers and eggs, sheiks and shebas came out to indulge. Even the little guys brought their baby dolls along for a taste of the action. – to read more>

Paintings of 104th Regiment of Foot on Display at Arthur Child Museum

by Lorraine Payette, written August 15, 2013

(GANANOQUE, ONTARIO) Winter and early spring of 1813 were cold and miserable. The War of 1812 was on, and troops mustered all along the St. Lawrence to defend the Canadas from American invasion. And among those troops were the 104th Regiment of Foot from New Brunswick. – to read more>

Schooner Lois McClure in Port at Gananoque, August 29th – 31st

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Photos property of Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, http://www.lcmm.org

From Arthur Child Museum – Linda Mainse – Also 1813, The Shipwrights’ War and Other Stories

(GANANOQUE, ONTARIO) Lake Champlain Maritime Museum’s schooner Lois McClure will be in port at the PUC dock adjacent to Joel Stone Heritage Park, Water St., Gananoque from 6 pm Thursday August 29th to 10 am Saturday August 31st, open to the public from 11 – 6 pm on August 30th, during her tour commemorating the War of 1812 Bicentennial. As well, Art Cohn will present an evening talk titled “Shipwrecks: The Lake Champlain Experience” on Thursday, August 29th from 7:30 – 8:30 pm at the Arthur Child Heritage Museum, followed by refreshments. “The shipbuilding races and naval battles of 1813 helped to determine the outcome of the War of 1812, and left a legacy of shipwrecks beneath the waters of the Great Lakes, St. Lawrence River, and Lake Champlain,” explains Art Cohn, Special Project Director. “Our dynamic outreach program explores history where it happened, on the anniversary of the cross-border war that ushered in 200 years of peace.” – to read more>

Brian Phillips Presents Athens History in Pictures

by Lorraine Payette, written August 10, 2013

(ATHENS, ONTARIO) The Athens Historical Society was delighted to host an evening with historian Brian Phillips as they celebrated the unveiling of their new heritage sign located in front of the Joshua Bates Centre at 1 Main Street West in the village on August 8.

The presentation, entitled “Athens: A History in Pictures”, showcased an elaborate collection of photographs and other memorabilia from the community’s past, all punctuated with Phillips’ dazzling running commentary. His natural wit and sense of humour help to bring not only the historical material alive, but also generate interest in the process itself. – to read more>