Friday, May 29, 2009

Alfred S. Bourne Championship Trophy - Senior PGA

This is an interesting factoid. Alfred S. Bourne would have been running around in the Singer Castle when he was a kid (as the son of its builder, Frederick G. Bourne). Himself a golfer, in 1937 Alfred donated for the creation of the Alfred S. Bourne Trophy. Awarded every year to the Senior PGA champion, it is the most coveted senior golf prize. Among the golf giants that have their names inscribed as winners on the trophy are: Sam Snead, Arnold Palmer, Chi Chi Rodriguez, Gary Player, Lee Trevino, Jack Nicklaus, Hale Irwin, Tom Watson, Gene Sarazen, and Jay Haas (see a history of these winners and their pictures by clicking on this blog's title). The Trophy is 40 inches tall, 18 inches wide and weighs 30.5 pounds.

Friday, May 22, 2009

1000 Island Images

If you haven't already seen it, I introduce you to 1000 Island Images ( It is a wonderful site for viewing an interesting selection of pictures from the 1000 Islands, including famous sites, interesting action wildlife shots of Loons, Blue Herons, etc., ships and boats. (They also have a running feed showing what the current local weather is in the Alexandria Bay area.) The images featured in that website are the original works of Paul R. Cooledge and Lillian R. Cooledge. The layout is very user friendly, just click on the small images to see them enlarged. Almost no text is found on their site, just pure picture goodness. The above Singer Castle picture with the passing ship (Algosea) is found in their catalog of images (click on it above to see it enlarged). Their images are protected by copyright law, including the above picture. (It is by their generous permission that we may view it here.) Check them out and enjoy the scenery.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Great Lake Swimmers

Some of the biggest buzz in music news blogs is about the Canadian folk/rock band called the Great Lake Swimmers. Apparently our friend, Ian Coristine (renown 1000 Islands photographer and writer), coaxed the group to the Thousand Islands area which in turn inspired them to a new album called Lost Channels. What is interesting to readers of this blog is that they recorded for their album the famous rich sounds of Singer Castle's Westminster Chimes from its 5-story clock tower. (Of course, we beat them by several years. Gold-Mountain was the first in over 100 years to release the sounds to the public in its Dark Island's Castle of Mysteries documentary. The rich sounds are also found in our newly-released award winning Thousand Islands themed music video called River-Lations. But I digress.)

In an interview with CBC Radio 3 (Canada), Tony Dekker, lead singer of the band, revealed his best and worst moments in the Thousand Islands. His favorite moment: "Recording in Singer Castle on Dark Island." His least favorite moment: "Getting up at 6 a.m. in order to catch the boat to go to Singer Castle on Dark Island." (For those of you potential visitors of Singer Castle: Do not fear, there are boats that make the cruise much later!)

Just as I was going to press on this, the Thousand Islands Life (a free but very high class, exquisite online magazine) came out with an article by Ian Coristine with more details about the band.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

How do I get to Singer Castle or Boldt Castle?

"Just how can I get to Singer Castle or Boldt Castle?" is a common question, as they can only be reached by boat. Check out these sources for the answer:

Uncle Sam Boat Tours' Two Castle Tour is a popular way of getting to both castles from Alexandria Bay, NY. Call them at 800-563-8687 or click on their web link.

Schermerhorn Harbor, located at Chippewa Bay - Hammond NY, is very close to Dark Island and they can be reached at 314-324-5966.

Morristown Boat Tours, Morristown NY, offers tours to Singer Castle on their classic wood boat named the Morrisania. Call them for an appointment at 315-375-8213. (Post blog note: The Morrisania later was retired, so that service is no longer available as I have subsequently blogged.)

Rockport Boat Line (Rockport, Canada) also has a Two Castle Tour right from Canada. Call them toll-free at 800-563-8687 (or locally from there at 613-659-3402). Be sure to understand what is required to cross the border when coming from Canada. (The boat line will advise you on that).

Private boaters are also welcome to Singer Castle. Call ahead at 315-324-3275 or use your marine radio channel 16. (Note: Canadian private boaters must first check into customs at Heart Island near Alexandria Bay or in Ogdensburg. Please call ahead for more details.)

Disclaimer: This blog has no affiliation with Singer Castle or Boldt Castle or the boat lines. Absolutely check out all things with the primary parties before making any plans, decisions or actions.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Singer Castle Tours' benefit for Alzheimer's Assoc.

Singer Castle Tours has tickets up for bid on EBay to benefit the Alzheimer's Association, Central New York Chapter. Bidding ends early morning May 12, 2009, so check out this worthy cause right away by clicking on this blogs heading.

About this nonprofit charity:
The Alzheimer's Association ( is a national voluntary health agency dedicated to providing leadership to eliminate Alzheimer's disease through the advancement of research, while enhancing care and support for individuals and their families.
Description of auction:
Winning bidders receive a pair of tickets for a tour of Singer Castle in the 1000 Islands. Singer Castle sits on Dark Island, off the shores of Alexandria Bay. Local boating companies in A-Bay offer shuttles to and from the island.
Built in the early 1900s, Singer Castle is the only castle on the 1000 Islands to be completed and lived in during the turn-of-the-century heyday of the region.
NOTE: There are three pairs of tickets for bid. Each lot is worth $25.
All inquires must be though the auction webpage and not through the Singer Castle site.
Disclaimer: This notice is for informational purposes only. Blogger has no connections concerning this auction. All information per auction page.

5/12/09 Follow up note: This auction has successfully concluded. A total of 7 bids were received. Thanks Singer Castle for a good deed; and the winner received a great deal too.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Jack Kemp - Rest in peace

[Buffalo, NY is on the famous St. Lawrence River Seaway Trail, which also hosts the magnificent Niagara Falls. That is the region from where our river water in the Thousand Islands flows.]

Jack Kemp is a football legend in New York State. The Buffalo Bills got him at the bargain basement price of $100 due to a waivers foul-up. "Kemp led Buffalo to the 1964 and 1965 AFL Championships, and won the league's most valuable player award in 1965. 'Pro football gave me a good perspective," he was quoted as saying. "When I entered the political arena, I had already been booed, cheered, cut, sold, traded, and hung in effigy.' " - From The Associated Press

(July 13, 1935 – May 2, 2009)

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Live webcam: St. Lawrence River - Boldt Castle

Have you seen the St. Lawrence River live on the web (with the Boldt Castle area in the background) thanks to Located in Alexandria Bay, NY, see it anytime during the day from the comfort of your computer! Click on this blog's title for some contemplative or reminiscent thinking about being on the river as you see it live. (Picture above courtesy of Teresa Mitchell, Wikipedia. Click on it to see it enlarged.)