Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Landmark Society Visits Landmark...Singer Castle on Dark Island

On a recent breezy August morning, twenty-three intrepid members of the Thousand Island Park Landmark Society boarded two classic craft from the Antique Boat Museum (Clayton, NY) for a cruise from the town dock in Thousand Island Park down river to Singer Castle on Dark Island.

Seventeen passengers were aboard the “Zipper” a 1930s style 41’ Commuter that was captained by Frank Beadle and six were aboard the “Gadfly” an original 1931 Hutchinson Boat Works 33’ Sedan captained by David Dodge. The group’s arrival at the castle appeared much like a scene from the early 1900s. (See photo above, taken by the Castle's own caretaker, Scott Garris. Click on the photo to see it larger.)

Once on Dark Island, the Landmark Society members enjoyed a picnic lunch in Singer Castle’s historic Rose Garden where they listened to a talk by Kathleen Murphy, an expert in historic plantings, who designed and replanted the castle’s Rose Garden in 2006. Following lunch Judy Keeler, Singer Castle Historian, escorted them on a tour of the castle. They then braved the increasing waves to return to their own historic homes in Thousand Island Park.

News directly received from Dark Island's Jean Papke, Administrative Assistant to the President, Tom Weldon.

Monday, August 30, 2010

New York State Fair, Syracuse NY

Singer Sewing Machines spotted at the New York State Fair today, in the Agriculture Building. (Click on the photos to see them larger).

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Lady Sandals yacht docked at Frink Park in Clayton, NY

The Lady Sandals yacht from the Cayman Islands was docked today (8/28/10) in Clayton, NY on the St. Lawrence River at Frink Park (after having been at Toronto). Customs agents were there to examine the ship. The Mayor and the Chief of Police were on hand to greet the guests.

Seen together before the ship in the second photo above are (from right to left) Bob Mondore and the Mayor of Clayton: Norma J. Zimmer, and the Chief of Police: Kevin Patenaude.

Check out that radar array on the top of that thing! (Click on the photos to see them larger).

As always, for the latest information on St. Lawrence River ships passing through, be sure to check out Michael Folsom's blog: The Ship Watcher.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Singer Castle and Plein Air Painters

Alexandria Bay-(August 11, 2010), Singer Castle and Plein Air Painters Thousand Islands Region (PAPTIR) will conduct an “en plein air” painting (French for open air) event on Wednesday September 1, rain date September 2nd.  The event is open to all artists. A broader definition of the term includes painting from life or sight without the use of photographs. With this in mind a limited number of artists may set up inside to do interiors.  It provides the opportunity to showcase details of the grounds and Singer Castle from an up close perspective as well as enjoy a day at one of the Regions beautiful attractions.

To register and get more details contact Robert P.  Hedden at PAPTIR@gmail.com or 315-482-9352. Parking and a boat shuttle is available from the Schermerhorn Harbor and there is a boat shuttle from Alexandria Bay. The Schermerhorn shuttle takes about twenty minutes and departs 10:30AM to 3:30PM every hour on the half hour. Returns are on the hour with the last at 5:00PM. The fee is $15 for the shuttle which includes the round trip. The Castle entrance fee is waived for participating artists and no formal tour will be provided. Artists must agree to a group photo and photos of their work for publicity.

PAPTIR was formed in 2009 to foster painting in the outdoors as opposed to studio painting from photographs. Plein air artists complete their paintings on site, sometimes using the work along with photos and sketches to complete larger studio works. The group has over twenty artists on its register and typically around eight attend a scheduled paintout every second Wednesday from Spring to Fall.  Some who are year round St. Lawrence River residents paint outdoors all year long, weather permitting. There are no dues, meetings, officers, or directors, just “birds of a feather get together”. In addition to Plein Air Contests supported by local ARTS Organizations for organization and publicity and business sponsors for prize money, PAPTIR holds group Art Shows. The most recent show was August 6-7 at the Macsherry library. Another day show is planned for Saturday September 18th at the Antique Boat Museum in Clayton NY. Interested artists can contact Robert P. Hedden at the above email address or phone number to be included on the event email distribution list.

(This dispatch and picture was received directly from Dark Island today. Be sure to click on the beautiful aerial picture of Singer Castle above to see it large).

Monday, August 9, 2010

Boats, Boats and More Boats at Singer Castle, Dark Island!


On a warm summer evening the castle came alive with light and music. People could be seen moving about on the terrace and through the windows of the Drawing Room, Dining Room and Breakfast Room. Lights reflected off the waters of the St. Lawrence and boats rocked gently at all of the docks. Some were even moored to each other.

Island neighbors asked each other: Where had all the large boats come from? What was happening at the castle? Did you see all the lights? Isn’t it exciting! The island and castle must have looked much like this when the Bournes or the Thayers were in residence. Friends were invited to come over after a day of boat racing on the river and the voices of young people would echo over the surrounding water. Of course the boats were not the same.

The boats, most between 35’ and 50’ in length but as large as 65’, were at Singer Castle for Aquapalooza 2010 – A group cruise from Hurst Marina in Mantiock, Ontario near Ottawa with a stop at Singer Castle on Dark Island for the evening on their return trip to Ottawa. Twenty-two boats in all with 72 passengers tied up at the island’s docks so that they could experience the wonders of the Gilded Age Hunting Lodge built by Frederick Bourne, Commodore of the New York Yacht Club. The Singer Castle staff members greeted these guests much as the Bourne’s staff would have welcomed guests to Dark Island, assisted them in tying up, escorted them up the Bridle Path to the front doors and then through the Great Hall and up the broad staircase to the Drawing Room, Dining Room and Breakfast Room where dinner and entertainment awaited them.

This dispatch was received directly from Dark Island today. Photo and article by Jean Papke (Assistant to the President of Singer Castle, Tom Weldon). Photo was taken Aug. 1, 2010 (click on it to see it in large size).

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

We have a photo winner! The Ship Watcher blog has named the winner.

Mike Folsom's The Ship Watcher blog has announced his winner for the Singer Castle/Ship combination photo. The winner is Randall King of Avon, NY, and he will receive the all new book, Singer Castle Revisited, donated by yours truly at Gold-Mountain.com. Mike Folsom sponsored and hosted the contest on his stellar site aptly named TheShipWatcher.com. The contest, which ran all of last month, was for the best photo taken of a ship passing by Singer Castle on Dark Island. Be sure to click on the above photo to see it larger. It is a wonderful shot that looks very artistic. If you have any interest in ships, Mike's blog is the place to be! Congratulations to Randall King. Enjoy your prize! Singer Castle Revisited is published by Arcadia Publishing.