2019 Calendar of Events
Hashing Over History – Wednesday, January 16 – Tom LaClair will share some personal history, telling stories of growing up on LaClair Farms to sharing stories from his nearly 28 years in the United states Air Force. He will conclude by talking of both history and genealogy and his recent involvement with each. Join us and learn about our new Town/Village Historian. Program is free and starts at 10 a.m.
Hashing Over History – Wednesday, January 23 – Tom will delve into some of the tragedies that have struck the Clayton area over the years, from building fires to boating and shipping accidents. Does anyone personally recall the 1943 Mercier Boat Company fire, the 1944 Ellis block fire, the 1980 Pearl’s Department Store and Driftwood Restaurant fire, the 1983 McCormick’s Restaurant fire or the 1988 Ben Franklin Store fire? How about the devastating 1976 NEPCO Oil Spill in the St. Lawrence River? Those who recall these or any other river tragedies can share their insights. Program starts at 10 a.m. and is free.
Hashing Over History – Wednesday, January 30 – Dean Wilkie will talk about the life of Adam Danenwald, who was born in Germany and immigrated to the town of Clayton. Adam Danenwald performed hay pressing for local farmers, worked at Schafer’s Meat Market, privately contracted a school bus pickup service and amassed several farms totaling move than 300 acres. Danenwald Road, near the C-Way Golf Course, is named after Adam Danenwald. Program is free and starts at 10 a.m.
Hashing Over History – Wednesday, February 6 – Dennis McCarthy, president of the Clayton Diving Club, along with Skip Couch, one of the original members, will discuss the history of the club from its origins in 1967 to the present day. The club continues to organize group dives, holds monthly meetings and participates in community efforts. Underwater enthusiasts then and now continue to dive into the waters of the St. Lawrence River to explore the many wrecks that rest on the riverbed. Program starts at 10 a.m. and is free.
Hashing Over History – Wednesday, February 13 – Bob Kittle will talk about St. Lawrence River ice harvesting. Each winter, communities up and down the river plowed, cut and stored ice to sell and use during the summer months. There was a time before mechanical refrigeration that snow and ice, cool streams, springs, caves and cellars were used to refrigerate food. Mr. Kittle remembers the challenges and successes that come from the work of ice harvesting. Anyone with a curiosity about the topic can hear about it firsthand from a one time ice harvester Program starts at 10 a.m. and is free.
Hashing Over History – Wednesday, February 20 – Mike Strouse, our guest historian, will talk about Calumet Island. Mike is the caretaker of the island and is continually learning the history. The island formerly featured one of the earliest examples of the large castles built in the Thousand Islands region during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The island is owned by the Rawson family who use it for summer holidays.
Hashing Over History – Wednesday, February 27 – Residents of Grindstone Now and Yesteryear. Kenny Brabant, our guest historian, will share stories on some of the families who resided and reside on Grindstone Island. Grindstone is the fourth largest of the Thousand Islands in the St. Lawrence River and second largest of the American islands.
Saturday Program –March 2nd at noon – Annual Meeting of TIDCA (Thousand Islands Decoy Collectors Assoc.) held at the Thousand Islands Museum. Refreshments will be served.
Hashing Over History – Wednesday, March 6 – Depauville Fire Department through the years – Larry Girard, our guest historian, will highlight fire protection and life safety services to the southern half of the town of Clayton since 1932, the year the department was created. The department is responsible for an area approximately 37 square miles and is located on School St. in Depauville.
Hashing Over History – Wednesday, March 13 -Rationing in WWII. Historian Tom LaClair will discuss rationing nationwide during the second world war. From tires, to food, to gasoline and coffee as well as many other products. The U.S. Government allotted points for various products and local merchants did their part to enforce the rationing program. Like the rest of the nation, Clayton residents retained war ration books to maximize their purchases.
Hashing Over History – Wednesday, March 20 – Clayton Manufacturing Company – Clayton Historian Tom LaClair will discuss the history of the garment producers that made high grade sweaters, bathing suits, football jerseys, sports coats and knit goods that had such distinct quality that they found a large steady sale, The business opened its doors in 1922 and due to economic factors, closed in 1971.
Hashing Over History – Wednesday, March 27 – French Creek Bridge – Clayton Hisstorian Tom LaClair will discuss the history of French Creek bridge through the years; the first one built of wood in 1835, the second a metal bridge built in 1908, with a replacement bridge installed in 1939. Also discussed will be the story of the Kingston based yacht Jeannette that capsized in French Creek in an 1851 summer squall where 19 Kingston travelers perished.
Hashing Over History – Wednesday, April 3 – Alexandria Bay’s hospital. Guest historians, Judy Keeler and Jean Elk will trace the history of the hospital from its origins in a house to the present day. Jean was a nurse in the original hospital and will entertain us with stories from her working career.
Museum Opens for season – May 21st – Museum opens for 2019 season – open Tuesday – Friday – 10 am until 4 pm. Admission is free!
Sunset History Boat Cruise – Wednesday, June 19 – Wildlife Tour – Learn the history of the wildlife that was once part of the river scene as well as seeing the wildlife that is on the river now. Last year we saw a mother Loon with babies on her back. Tickets are $28 per person. Tour leaves the dock at 5:30 and returns about 8:00. Reservations are required and space is limited. Call the museum for reservations.
Sunset History Boat Cruise – Wednesday, July 10 – Canadian Tour – Join us as we head for Canadian waters, passing Picnic & Canoe Points and the Gananoque Narrows on our way to Ivy Lea. The return trip will take us thru Smuggler’s Cove and the Lost Channel before heading thru Benson’s Rift and along Grindstone Island. Tickets are $28 per person. Tour leaves the dock at 5:30 and returns around 8:00. Reservations are required and space is limited.
Book Signing – Wednesday, July 17 from 2-4 at the museum. Susan G. Mathis will be selling and signing her newest book “Katelyn’s Choice” which is set at George Pullman’s island during President Grant’s visit. The second author at the signing will be Lewis P. (Paul) Beers, Jr. with his new book “The Pork Barrel Fort” which tells the story of the Battle of Cranberry/Goose Creek July 21, 1813 – during the War of 1812.
Sunset History Boat Cruise – Wednesday, July 17 – Island Post Office Tour – Due to high water flooding the dock at Murray Isle this tour has been rescheduled to 8/14/19.
51st Annual Decoy/Wildlife Art & Sporting Collectibles Show – Friday, July 19 from 9 am – 6 pm & Saturday, July 20 from 9 am to 4 pm at Cerow Recreation Park Arena.
Traditional Shore Dinner – Friday, July 19 from 4-8 pm – held at Coyote Moon Vineyards by Garnsey’s Classic Island Cruises to benefit the Thousand Islands Museum. Tickets available at event.
History at Noon -Wednesday, July 24 – History at Noon with Dennis McCarthy. Dennis will present a program on the history of Carleton Island, the site of the Revolutionary War Fort Haldimand. Learn the history of the fort and surrounding area. This island has had people on it (other than Native Americans) longer than any other in the Thousand islands, from 1774 to the present day. Hear the story of the large villa on the island, built by Edward Wyckoff. We will also be doing a Sunset History Boat Cruise to Carleton Island on the evening of July 24th.
Sunset History Boat Cruise – Wednesday, July 24 – Carleton Island Tour – Boat will head towards Cape Vincent to tour around historic Carleton Island, site of Fort Haldimand, a Revolutionary War fort. Dennis McCarthy will be on the cruise to relate the history of the island, the people and events that took place there, including Edward Wyckoff’s construction of a large villa, the ruins of which still stand. Tickets are $32 per person. Tour leaves the dock at 5:00. Reservations are required and space is limited.
History at Noon -Wednesday, July 31 – History at Noon with Tom French, author of the book “River Views ~ A History of the Thousand Islands in 3-D” will do a presentation of stereoviews of Ogdensburg. The historic photographs were taken in the late 1800s by local photographers.
Sunset History Boat Cruise – Wednesday, July 31 – Calumet Island Tour – Our second tour of the year to stop at an island! Join us as we head to the privately owned Calumet Island to see the remains of Charles Emery’s Calumet Castle, which was his summer residence. Unlike Boldt Castle, Calumet was completed and lived in. The castle burnt down in 1957. Tickets are $28 per person. Tour leaves the dock at 5:30. Reservations are required and space is limited. THIS TOUR IS SOLD OUT!
History at Noon -Wednesday, August 7 – History at Noon with Eric Roberts & Andrea Reeves, producers of the documentary “Mysterious Origin of Thousand Island Dressing”. Join us to watch this documentary and learn the true story of this wonderful dressing.
Sunset History Boat Cruise – Tuesday, August 13 – Cherry Island Tour – Join us for our second journey to Cherry Island where you will tour Casa Blanca, a Gilded Age three story mansion. It is like taking a step back in time. The owner of Casa Blanca will be offering cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. Tour is three hours long, one hour boat ride each way and one hour on the island. Tickets are $40 per person. Tour leaves the dock at 5:00. Reservations are required and space is limited.
Sunset History Boat Cruise – Wednesday, July 17 – Island Post Office Tour – Only a few Post Offices still exist on the islands and although we will see all of them, the highlight of the tour will be a stop at Murray Isle where we will leave the boat for a tour of the Post Office as well as the site where the Murray Hill Hotel once stood. This hotel was built in 1895 and was torn down in 1942. Learn the story of this historic site. Tickets are $31 per person. Tour leaves the dock at 5:30. Reservations are required and space is limited.
Sunset History Boat Cruise – Wednesday, August 14 – Shore Dinner Cruise – Due to high water this tour has been cancelled. Dock at the island is under 12″ of water. We will try again next year.
History at Noon -Wednesday, August 21 – History at Noon with Dennis McCarthy, President of the Clayton Diving Club. Dennis will present a program to include video on the shipwrecks in the area. Learn where and why they sank. See pictures of the wrecks in the clear water of the St. Lawrence River. Join us that evening for our Sunset History Boat Cruise to tour the sites of the shipwrecks.
Sunset History Boat Cruise – Wednesday, August 21 – Shipwreck Tour – Dennis McCarthy, local diver and President of the Clayton Diving Club will join us for a tour to the sites of the shipwrecks in the area. Please note that the ships are in deep water and can’t be seen, but we will have books for sale that show underwater pictures of some of the wrecks. Learn the history of the ships and what caused them to sink. Tickets are $28 per person. Reservations are required and boats fill quickly. Tour leaves the dock at 5:30 returning around 8:00.
Sunset History Boat Cruise – Wednesday, August 28 – Admiralty Island Tour – Our final tour of the season will again head to Canadian waters to tour the beautiful Admiralty Islands. Learn the significance of Half Moon Bay. See how Napoleon is connected with Hay Island. Tickets are $28 per person. Tour leaves the dock at 5:30 returning around 8:00.
Roast Pork Dinner –Cancelled for 2019 due to a combination of high water damage at the Clayton Legion and the lack of parking due to the work on Riverside Drive.
25th Annual Festival of Trees – November 19th – December 20th at Thousand Islands Museum – Open Tuesday -Friday from 10-4 and Saturday from 1-4. Closed Thanksgiving week. Call museum for details 686-5794.
Thousand Islands Museum Juried Craft Show – Saturday, December 7th from 10 am – 4 pm. Held at K of C Hall, 420 James St., Clayton
T.I. Museum will be closed from Dec. 20th until Tuesday January 7, 2020.