The Thousand Islands Decoy Collectors Association (TIDCA) was organized in summer 1992, largely through the efforts of Larry Lunman and Bob Rayfield, to bring together individuals who share a common interest in the history of decoy carving and waterfowl hunting along the St. Lawrence River. In addition to the Clayton Decoy Show held each year in July, TIDCA members have met once or twice a year to attend decoy presentations, share information, and participate in displays and contests. Vintage decoy displays and contests have been a feature of most meetings, with the intent of encouraging members to bring choice examples from their personal collections to be studied and enjoyed by all.
In spring 2009, TIDCA was reorganized under the mantle of the TI museum, and individuals who wish to become or remain members of TIDCA can do so by joining the museum. The goals of the association have remained the same, and are focused on discovering and sharing information on the decoys and decoy carvers of the Thousand Islands area. In recent years, two events have been held annually, both open to the public. The first event is a meeting held the first Saturday of March, the second includes displays presented at the Clayton Decoy Show held the third weekend in July. Displays of decoys by TIDCA have been presented at the Clayton Show each year since 1994. In 2013, TIDCA’s involvement in the Clayton Decoy Show was expanded to include a vintage decoy contest.
Archives of information presented at previous spring meetings, and pictures and information from previous July Clayton Shows, can be accessed using the links on this page. Click on the Previous Spring Meetings link shown here or at the bottom of the page to see topics covered at all the spring TIDCA meetings since 2001. By clicking on the colored links associated with each of the yearly spring meetings, PDF versions of the presentations and handouts can be accessed. Click on the Previous Clayton Shows link shown here or the one at the bottom of the page to see the themes of the TIDCA displays since 2001, and the categories in the TIDCA contests since 2013. Pictures of the displays and contest winners shown on the page can be enlarged by clicking on them. Pictures and information used as part of the TIDCA displays since 2010 can be accessed by clicking on the colored links associated with the respective yearly headers.
2020 and 2021 TIDCA Events:
The corona virus pandemic shut down the Thousand Islands Museum and cancelled many of the activities sponsored by the Museum for most of 2020, and is expected to cancel most events through at least the first half of 2021. This included the 2020 Clayton Decoy Show that had been scheduled for July 17 and 18, 2020, and the 2021 TIDCA Spring Meeting which had been scheduled for March 6, 2021.
Spring Meeting: March 7, 2020 at the Thousand Island Museum, 312 James St., Clayton.
The 2020 Spring TIDCA Meeting was held as scheduled on March7, 2020, just ahead of the rapid advance of the corona virus across upstate New York. Similar to previous years, the 2020 meeting started at noon with decoy displays and an informal gathering, followed by a slide presentation beginning about 2 PM. Attendance was again excellent with around 30 individuals staying through the entire meeting.
The 2020 presentation included detailed reviews of the lives and works of four different individuals and one family involved in decoy and waterfowl carving in the upstate area. These included Lou Britton, Alexandria Bay, Ross Russell, Fishers Landing, Hiram Wiswell, Clayton, Norm Jones, Watertown, and the DoVille family, Sodus Bay. A slightly modified and expanded version of the 2020 presentation is now available, and can be accessed using the links on this page.
Clayton Decoy Show: July 16-17, 2021, Gordon Cerow Recreation Park Arena.
The 2021 Clayton Decoy Show is still tentatively scheduled for July 16&17, 2021. Whether or not the show is actually held will depend on events and decisions that will occur in April, May and June, and which are largely beyond the control of the staff and board members of the Thousand Islands Museum. Hopefully, a final decision can be made by the end of May or the first week of June to enable potential visitors and exhibitors to adjust their schedules.
TIDCA involvement in the 2021 Clayton Show, assuming it takes place, will include a decoy exhibit to be displayed all day Friday and Saturday, and a decoy contest to be held on Friday. The display and contest theme and categories will utilize those originally chosen for the cancelled 2020 show. Help with setting up the displays, registering the contest decoys, and supervising the exhibits and explaining them to the public, is always appreciated. If you can help, please contact Tom Eckert (315-654-2902) or the Thousand Islands Museum.
The 2021 TIDCA decoy exhibit will feature decoys and decorative carvings by Edward J. Sweet, Alexandria Bay. The exhibit will focus on some of the better examples of his work, and museum members and decoy show participants with a choice example they would like to be considered for display, are asked to contact Tom Eckert (315-654-2902).
The 2021 TIDCA decoy contest will be held on Friday, July 16. The contest is open everyone, and each person may make two entries in each of the three categories. A matched pair (hen and drake) count as one entry. The entries may be brought in person to the TIDCA tables and registered from 9-11 AM, or may be mailed to the TI Museum according to the same procedures established for the Hunting Decoy Contest.
Entries in the contest will be judged by a panel of three experts beginning at 11 AM. Ribbons will be awarded to the entries judged to be 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, in each category, and the winning entries must remain on display until 5 PM Friday. The contest categories selected for 2021 are quite broad, and were intentional chosen that way to encourage more participation.
The three 2021 contest categories are:
1. Ken Harris vintage diving duck decoy: pre1970; any style or species of diving duck.
2. Decoy by Gananoque, ON, maker: any area maker, species, or vintage.
3. Vintage broadbill or bluebill decoy: pre 1970; any maker, style, or area.