Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Singer Castle Winter Photos & Christmas Ornaments

Winter photos of Singer Castle on Dark Island
by Scott Garris

New Singer Castle ornament:  Ornaments are on sale through 12/13/16 for $13 each or $10 each if two or more are ordered.  Shipped free in US.  Anyone wishing to purchase the ornament should call 1-877-327-5475 (Singer Castle).

Article submitted by Jean Papke, Assistant to the president of Singer Castle.

Note: The above is served up as news only. This blog and blogger receives no compensation whatsoever. We were the first to report on this ornament, see article here.

Monday, September 19, 2016


Free admission for visitors presenting a Museum Day Live! ticket on September 24

CLAYTON, New York (September 19, 2016) – The Antique Boat Museum (ABM), North America’s premier freshwater nautical museum, will once again open its doors free of charge on Saturday September 24, 2016, as part of Smithsonian magazine’s twelfth annual Museum Day Live! On this day only, participating museums across the United States emulate the spirit of the Smithsonian Institution’s Washington DC-based facilities, which offer free admission every day, and open their doors for free to those who download a Museum Day Live! ticket.

Inclusive by design, the event represents Smithsonian’s commitment to make learning and the spread of knowledge accessible to everyone. Last year’s event drew over 200,000 participants, and this year’s event is expected to attract more museum-goers than ever before.

“We encourage our North Country neighbors, as well as visitors from afar, to come and see what the Antique Boat Museum has to offer,” explained Margaret Hummel, director of events and marketing. “This nationwide event is a wonderful opportunity to get out and explore your local institutions and further educate yourself on their mission and purpose.”

The Museum Day Live! ticket is available for download at Visitors who present the Museum Day Live! ticket will gain free entrance for two at participating venues on September 24, 2016. One ticket per household is permitted. For more information about Museum Day Live! 2016 and a full list of participating museums and cultural institutions, please visit

For more information, please visit

About Smithsonian Media

Smithsonian Media is a division of Smithsonian Enterprises, the revenue-generating business unit of the Smithsonian Institution. Smithsonian Media is composed of its flagship publication, Smithsonian magazine, as well as Air & Space, Smithsonian Books and the Smithsonian Media Digital Network. In addition, Smithsonian Media oversees the Smithsonian Institution’s interest in the Smithsonian Channel, a joint venture between the Smithsonian and CBS/Showtime. The Smithsonian is the world's largest museum and research complex consisting of 20 museums and galleries, the National Zoological Park and nine research facilities. Approximately 30 million people from around the world visit the Smithsonian annually.

About ABM

Located on the St. Lawrence River in upstate NY, the ABM features a collection of over 300 antique and classic boats, among thousands of recreational boating artifacts, including the famous runabout, Pardon Me, and a 113-year old gilded-age two-story houseboat, La Duchesse. In addition, the ABM plays host to the longest running antique boat show in North America and is considered the birthplace of antique raceboat regattas. The Museum will close for the 2016 season on Tuesday, October 11. For more information, please visit the Museum’s website at

Friday, September 9, 2016

Amazing Singer Castle Christmas Ornament! - by Jessica Brown, Hammond Central School student

Singer Castle Ornament

Know any castle lovers? You can order a Singer Castle ornament to give as any holiday gift. The Castle’s gift shop is selling the new ornaments.

These ornaments are an incredible small scale reproduction of Singer Castle. The ornaments go by the size of 2x4x2. They also have full color and detail of the original castle and are made of resin. They could be the perfect ornament to add to your collection or maybe the start of a new collection.

Many visitors love these new ornaments and so do we! You can visit or call 1-877-327-5475 for more information about Singer Castle and the new castle ornaments.

--- Article by Jessica Brown, Hammond Central School  student and Singer Castle Tour Guide

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Hammond Historical Museum Tea Party at Singer Castle

Donna Demick - Hammond Historical Society, President

The Hammond Historical Museum’s 3rd Annual Tea Party was held in the Breakfast Room at Singer Castle on Friday, August 19th.  Singer Castle Historian Judy Keeler dressed in one of the castle’s maid uniforms led guests on a special tour featuring information about the role of women on Dark Island.  Following the tour they were greeted by Hammond Historical Society President Donna Demick and served tea sandwiches, tea breads, scones, muffins and assorted cookies along with specially blended Dark Island Tea.  Mrs. Demick shared a poem about the castle and musical entertainment was provided by Rev. Evon who sang period pieces and the piano duo of Bridget Sherman and Jamie Ipsen who performed “Maple Leaf Rag.” A pleasant time was had by all.

Bridget Sherman and Jamie Ipsen

Part of Singer Castle’s “Lost History” Revived - by Garrett Wardell

Garrett Wardell, guide at Singer Castle.  Student at Alexandria Central School.  
Photo by by Jean Papke

      Singer castle; a structure of medieval architecture dating back to 1905; the year that commodore Fredrick G. Bourne (president of the Singer Sewing Machine Company) completed construction on his medieval style “hunting lodge” which is now known as Singer Castle. The castle contains 29 rooms furnished with original furniture, books, a network of underground tunnels, and secret passageways. Spanning over four floors, and providing covert access to our castles 29 rooms measuring in excess of 28,000 square feet, our passageway system allowed the 30 servants who lived on the island to go about their work without being noticed by the Bourne family, or their guests. To open these passageways, you may have to push a coat hook, or slide a latch behind a photo. For the first time in decades, you can open a passageway electronically. Our library, outfitted with over 2700 books, ranging from a 1st edition of the Old Man In the Sea by Hemingway, to a 2nd edition of the Raven by Poe, to a 1st volume of Ripleys’s Believe It or Not; but to some, the most interesting feature of our library may be the secret passageway entrance. Hidden behind a panel that is contiguous to the library’s marble fireplace, the passageway connects the user to almost every room in the castle. For years to access the passageway through the library, one would have to remove a false light switch mounted on a bookshelf neighboring the passageway entrance, reach in the hole that the light switch left and pull on a ring which would release the latch holding the door shut. Back in action for the first time in years, there is another way to open the passageway; through electricity. Inspired by the yearnings of hundreds of the castles guests to see the original mechanism in the passageway work in it’s original fashion; by placing a penny on two screws located under the adjacent fireplace’s mantle, which in turn completes a circuit powered by batteries which triggers a mechanism created in 1872 to release the passageway door’s latch, thus allowing it to open, I began work on the passageway entrance. Preventing the function of this electric mechanism was only a tangle of wires, insulated by cloth, and dating back to the early 20th century. The process of restoring the functionality of this mechanism simply consisted of replacing outdated wiring, and a liberal amount of WD-40, but it is my hope that this small, yet clever system will serve as a reminder that the early 1900s, an age of prosperity for the 1000 Islands region, was more advanced than what most perceive. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2016


In April 2013, the North Country Troopers Assisting Troops (NCTAT) was formed by a group of local New York State Troopers in collaboration with U.S. military members. The mission of this group is to raise local and regional awareness, as well as to provide local recreational activities and events for Fort Drum service members, and other Armed Forces Members (active or retired), that were wounded, injured, or became ill while protecting our freedom and country. We have further been able to help the families of these service members, often during times of personal tragedy.  
Throughout the summer, this group, with the support of many local organizations, persons, and businesses, has successfully raised the necessary funds to provide a day of recreational activity to soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division, other former or active Armed Forces Members, and family members of fallen soldiers. On September 18, 2016, selected guests of North Country Troopers Assisting Troops will partake in a day of fishing on the St. Lawrence River. Every year we have grown this event, and this year approximately 25 Professional Fishing Guides from Cape Vincent, Clayton, and Alexandria Bay have agreed to assist us in taking approximately 100 of our heroes on a chartered fishing trip. The Fishing Captains will depart their home town docks, with our guests, at approximately 9 AM.
We will honor our heroes’ arrival by fishing charter boat at the Village of Clayton Town Dock (Riverside Drive-East End) at about 1:00 PM. Local emergency responders will assist us in making this a special day in honor of our Service members, and their arrival to Clayton will be memorable.
Our guests will then be taken to an outdoor event tent on the lawns of the beautiful Harbor Hotel, Clayton, NY, where we will prepare for them and Old Fashioned Shore Dinner, prepared by the Fishing Guides, and provide them an opportunity to enjoy the day.   
We are inviting and encouraging the public to assist us with this event, by showing their support for our Armed Forces Service members when they arrive at the Clayton Town Dock at approximately 1:00 PM on September, 18, 2016. The attending public actively participated in this event last year when technical difficulties resulted in approximately 50 people holding our Nations flag, on the shore. This was a spectacular sight in honor of our arriving guests.   

Last year's successful event in Clayton NY

Currently, Ms. Erin K. Barrett, Special Events Coordinator/Installation Gift and Donation Coordinator, Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation, 10783 Chapel Drive, Fort Drum, New York 13602, 315-772-0789, is assisting us to secure 60 Active Duty Fort Drum Soldiers that wish to participate in this event. Active Duty Fort Drum Members, E-6 and below, are encouraged to contact Ms. Barrett to secure a spot to fish with us on this date, as available spots are filling fast. There is no cost to this program, and transportation will be provided from Fort Drum. Troopers Assisting Troops only ask that you sign up, join us, and have a great day, as we, and the community, show our appreciation for your service.    
If you wish to learn more about North Country Troopers Assisting Troops, information is available on our web site: This web site was recently re-designed by Checkpoint Graphics, and it contains many memorable pictures of the day’s events, from past years. We can further be contacted through the “Contact Link” on this web site, and we would encourage anyone to contact us for more information, or to offer support in the form of donations for our soldiers. All money raised by our organization stays local to support our Service members, Active or Retired.  
This is the fourth year North Country Troopers Assisting Troops has hosted this event, and our fiscal growth has allowed us to provide monetary assistance to soldiers, and support their families, during troubled times. It is our desire to continue to provide like events and support to the Armed Forces members who make sacrifices protecting our freedoms.
Submitted by Michael Pastuf

Secretary - North Country Troopers Assisting Troops

This blog's article for this event from last year (includes video and photo):

Thursday, August 11, 2016


CLAYTON, New York (August 11, 2016) – The Antique Boat Museum (ABM), North America’s premier freshwater nautical museum based in Clayton, New York, announced today a complete guide to the home of vintage and historic racing, the Antique Raceboat Regatta, to be held Friday, August 19 through Sunday, August 21.

The 13th edition of this biennial event is a sanctioned event of the Vintage and Historic division of the American Powerboat Assocation and will feature a wide variety of vintage and classic raceboats including outboards, tunnel drives, jersey speed skiffs, and hydroplanes.  On Friday visitors can tour the grounds and see the raceboats on display on land and at the docks for the price of regular Museum admission. The main action of the Regatta will be on Saturday and Sunday when the raceboats take to the water of French Bay to run demonstration fly-bys according to boat class. The Museum will also come alive with vendors, unique forums, an auction featuring racing memorabilia, a very special exhibit opening with longtime Regatta attendee Buddy Byers, and the popular Legends Banquet on Saturday night.

Friday, August 19             9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Land displays and test runs
                                Saturday, August 20        9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Vintage fly-bys
                                Sunday, August 21           9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Vintage fly-bys

Note:     ABM will remain open to visitors until 5:00 p.m. on August 20 & 21

Museum Members                                         Free
Adult                                                                     $14 (Friday); $15 (Saturday/Sunday)
                                Youth (7-17)                                                       $8 Friday (Friday); $10 (Saturday/Sunday)
                                Child (6 & under)                                              Free
                                Military w/ ID (Active, retired, veteran) Free
                                Military Spouse                                                 $10 (each day)
                                Military Youth                                                    $5 (each day)
                                Adult 3-Day Pass                                              $30
                                Youth 3-Day Pass                                             $20

Visitors will be directed to the ABM’s Boat Shop located on the corner of Mary Street and Alexandria Street to purchase admission bracelets or check-in as a member.

The south side of Mary Street and the Marketplace will remain open to public access at all times throughout Regatta.

SPECIAL ACTIVITIES                        
Kids ages 9-12 have the opportunity to learn to drive a raceboat! A J-Class course will be taught on Friday morning starting at 9:00 a.m. (check-in at 8:00 a.m.). The course will be taught by four world-record drivers and will feature time spent in the classroom followed by the opportunity for kids to actually learn to drive the boats on the water. Pre-registration is required; contact Educator Deb Rantanen at 315-686-4104 x235. $50 registration fee + $20 fee for an APBA one-time event fee. A parent or guardian must attend the course with their child.
                                                                An auction featuring racing memorabilia will be held on Friday at 5:00 p.m. outside the Morgan Building on the south side of campus. Admission is free to attend the auction; a cash bar and light snacks will be provided.

                                                                Immediately following the conclusion of the auction, a reception will be held in the Morgan Building to celebrate the opening and dedication of the exhibit featuring the original artwork of the Antique Raceboat Regatta posters along with historic photographs and memorabilia of legendary raceboat driver Buddy Byers. Admission to the reception is free and all are encouraged to attend; complimentary refreshments will be provided.

                                                                On Thursday two instructional forums will be held in the Cox Theatre: at 10:00 a.m. Marv Hart will make a presentation for Drivers & New Drivers, at 1:00 p.m. Rich Evans will make a presentation for Inspecting Your Boat, Owners, & Prospective Inspectors.

On Saturday from 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. the Legends Banquet will be hosted in the ABM Tent. Dinner will be served by The Clipper Inn. Tickets must be purchased in advance, $35 per person.

PARKING                                             Free Shuttle during Antique Raceboat Regatta available at Guardino Elementary and Lions Field Lot (Webb Street).

Village street parking is permitted, however the ABM asks that you be considerate of our neighbors and avoid blocking sidewalks and driveways.

The ABM Community Lot located on Riverside Drive behind Watertown Savings Bank will be utilized by the Museum and should remain clear of all vehicles and trailers beginning on Thursday, August 18 through Sunday, August 21 at 5:00 p.m.

DOCKING                                            Minimal docking is available for visitors coming to the show by boat. Dock space is available on a first-come, first-serve basis on the south side of the Mary Street Municipal Dock. All boaters will need to check-in through admissions in the Boat Shop before proceeding into the event.

No docking will be permitted on the ABM docks, including the seawall, for the general public during Regatta.
BOATER SAFETY                                Boaters cruising the water of French Bay should not cross the race course while the course is active. Boaters should look for picket boats and patrol jet skis who will direct them safely around the course. For the safety of the raceboats running on the course, boaters are asked to proceed slowly and minimize their wake.

SMOKING                                           Smoking is allowed only in limited areas of the event. Absolutely no smoking is allowed on the interior of campus. Smoking is allowed on the street except in proximity of the parking lot (Inboard Pits).

DOGS                                                    Dogs will only be allowed in the Marketplace and street-side areas of the event grounds. No dogs will be permitted into buildings or the interior main campus of the ABM, including dogs in carriers.  Owners are responsible for cleaning up after their dog and keeping them leashed at all times.

NOTES OF INTEREST                        The main entrance to the Regatta will be at the ABM Boat Shop on the corner of Alexandria Street and Mary Street. All visitors must obtain wristbands or badges to enter.

Mary Street Closed – the stretch of Mary Street between Alexandria and Theresa Streets, in front of the ABM, will be closed to traffic throughout the show, including overnight hours.

Clayton Public Boat Ramp will remain accessible via Theresa Street throughout the event.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Singer Castle on Dark Island Press Release/ Summer Schedule

Left to right: Tom Weldon (President of Singer Castle).
Authors: Patty Mondore and Bob Mondore.
Singer Castle photo.

The 2016 Season has begun with an increase in visitors, Royal Suite reservations and activities at Singer Castle.  Now that Summer is here, Castle staff is busy gearing up to great new and returning visitors sharing the story of Frederick G Bourne and his “small hunting lodge.” 

Several activities have been scheduled to highlight the season.  From 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 2nd Robert and Patty Mondore will be at The Hexagon on the corner of James and Church Street in Alexandria Bay NY to sign copies of their books Singer Castle and Singer Castle Revisited.  They will also have copies of their updated video Dark Island's Castle of Mysteries available for purchase.

From 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. on Friday, July 22nd a Guitar Workshop will be held at the castle by internationally known guitar players Loren Barrigar and Mark Mazengarb.  Cost $125 - Registration is limited to 20 participants and can be made by e-mailing or calling Scott at (607) 377-1726.  A deposit of $75 will hold your reservation.

Fri., Aug. 19, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the Hammond Historical Society will host a Victorian Tea Party.  Singer Castle Historian Judy Keeler will speak about the role of women at the castle. Cost $30. Reservations are required as seating is limited to 32 guests.  Contact the Hammond Historical Society for additional information and to make reservations.

From 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, August 24th the Plein Air Painters will be at Singer Castle.  Rain date is Thursday, August 25th.

From 1:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 24th Spay/Neuter Now will host an event at the castle.

Come for a visit or join in one the events.  We look forward to seeing you.

Official Singer Castle press release and photo by Jean Papke, Administrative Assistant to the president of Singer Castle on Dark Island.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Girl Scout Troop Visits the 1000 Islands and spends the night at Singer Castle

Back Row left to right :  Holly Streetman, Crystal Reed, Emberlein Disalvo
Front Row: Christy Streetman, Samantha Reed and Liane Bakeley and Ember Disalvo
(Click on photo to see it enlarged).

Senior Girl Scout Troop 115 from Upper Marlboro, MD spent the week of June 20th in the 1000 Islands.  The trip was planned to be the senior outing for the girls who began meeting when most of them were four years old. Their adventure was to begin with camping at Kring Point State Park but Monday’s severe thunderstorms postponed the setting up of camp until Tuesday.  On Wednesday afternoon the group took the Uncle Sam Boat cruise to  Singer Castle where they spent the night and had a grand time exploring all of the rooms and secret passageways.  They will finish out their 1000 Islands visit camping at Kring Point and touring other regional attractions.

Picture by Scott Garris
Article by Jean Papke, Administrative Assistant to the President of Singer Castle. 

Monday, June 6, 2016

Antique Boat Museum: 1000 ISLANDS FAMILY DAY RETURNS ON JUNE 11. 2016

CLAYTON, New York (June 6, 2016) – The Antique Boat Museum (ABM), North America’s premier freshwater nautical museum based in Clayton, NY, invites everyone to come to Clayton on Saturday, June 11 for a fun-filled day of activities for the whole family.

The popular free admission 1000 Islands Family day, brought to you by Watertown Savings Bank and Fidelis Care, is set to take place at the Antique Boat Museum on June 11 featuring free admission all day and special event activities between the hours of 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Activities will include free skiff rowing, $5 antique boat rides, light picnic lunch for nominal fee (while supplies last), face painting, crafts and games for kids, tours of the historic houseboat La Duchesse, and much more.

Below is a list of some of the booths and activities expected at the event:

Brush Strokes by Melina – face painting
Clayton Opera House
Cold Stone Creamery
Cross Island Farms
Fidelis Care
Friends of Hawn Library
Garnsey’s Classic Island Cruises – kids fishing
Minna Anthony Nature Center
NYS Troopers
Sam's Club
Save the River
Thompson Park Zoo – animals
Thousand Islands Art Center
Thousand Islands Emergency Rescue Services
Thousand Islands Land Trust
Watertown Savings Bank – face painting and balloons
United States Coast Guard Auxiliary
U.S. Customs and Border Protection

As part of 1000 Islands Family Day the ABM will host a third annual “Boating on the Border” forum beginning at 1:00 p.m. on the Gaffney Porch. The Boating on the Border forum is presented by representatives of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency along with representatives from other government entities who work in marine patrol along the St. Lawrence River. Each organization will introduce their mission of work on the River. Boaters from both sides of the River are encouraged to come with questions regarding: crossing procedures, any recent changes in policy, safe boating practices, enforcement, and more. This forum has proven to be a good opportunity to dispel myths and educate boaters about how to safely and legally navigate and enjoy both sides of the River along the international border.

For more information, contact the ABM at 315-686-4104.

About ABM

Located on the St. Lawrence River in upstate NY, the ABM features a collection of over 300 antique and classic boats, among thousands of recreational boating artifacts, including the world’s largest runabout, Pardon Me, and a 113-year old gilded-age two-story houseboat, La Duchesse. In addition, the ABM plays host to the longest running antique boat show in North America and is considered the birthplace of antique raceboat regattas. The Museum will open for the 2016 season on Friday, May 6. For more information, please visit the Museum’s website at

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Antique Boat Museum, Clayton NY, opens for 2016 season.

CLAYTON, New York (May 5, 2016) – The Antique Boat Museum (ABM), North America’s premier freshwater nautical museum based in Clayton, NY, opens for the 2016 season on Friday, May 6 and will be open seven days a week, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., through Columbus Day. The ABM’s Bowline Boutique will also open and admission is not required to shop.

Ride the River boat rides will begin Friday, May 27, providing visitors with the opportunity to take a 45 minute boat ride through the 1000 Islands in the ABM’s triple cockpit runabout for just $25. Guided tours of the houseboat, La Duchesse, will also begin Friday, May 27 and are included in regular admission. Skiff rowing will be available to visitors later in the month of June. The Free Tuesday Night Sailing and Rowing program will run in July and August.

2016 Admission Rates

Regular admission rates for the 2016 “summer” season are shown below –

Member                                              Free
Adult                                                     $14
Senior (65+)                                       $12
Youth                                                    $8
Child (6 & under)                              Free
Group                                                   Vary, call ahead for rates
Military (active/retired)                Free
Retired Military Spouse                 $9

Museum Hours of Operation
9 a.m. until 5 p.m.            7 days a week beginning May 6 through Columbus Day

A detailed listing of Museum special events and educational courses is available at

2016 ABM Event Schedule

Volunteer Breakfast                                                                                                                                                      May 26

1000 Islands Family Day with free admission                                                                                                       June 11

POSH Picnic                                                                                                                                                                           July 3

1000 Islands Concours d’Elegance featuring Italian made vehicles                                                                July 9

52nd Annual Antique Boat Show & Auction featuring Disappearing Propeller Boats                    August 5-7
·         Antique Boat Auction presented by Antique Boat America    1 p.m.                                        August 6
·         Boat Show Block Dance featuring Bad Husbands Club   8 p.m.                                                 August 6

Antique Raceboat Regatta                                                                                                                               August 19-21

Volunteer Appreciation Dinner                                                                                                                     September 8

2016 ABM Education Schedule

Camp ABM See website for specific dates                                                                                    June 27 – August 12
·         Seven separate week-long sessions (ages 4-9)

Sailing See website for specific dates                                                                                              June 27 – August 18 
·         Junior Sailing (ages 8-15)
·         Advanced Junior Sailing (ages 8-15)
·         Teen Sailing (ages 12-18)
·         Comet Class (all ages, previous sailing experience required)
·         Adult Sailing

Boater Safety                                                             May 31-June 1, June 25, July 18-19, August 9-10, August 27

Paddle Making                                                                                                                                                                     July 9

Family Boatbuilding                                                                                                                                                   July 11-16

Make a Leather-Bound Journal/Sketchbook                                                                                                        July 13

Chesapeake Light Craft Kayak Building                                                                                                              July 25-29

Decorative Knot Tying                                                                                                                                July 12, August 2

Introduction to Caning                                                                                                                                             August 16                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

About ABM

Located on the St. Lawrence River in upstate NY, the ABM features a collection of over 300 antique and classic boats, among thousands of recreational boating artifacts, including the world’s largest runabout, Pardon Me, and a 113-year old gilded-age two-story houseboat, La Duchesse. In addition, the ABM plays host to the longest running antique boat show in North America and is considered the birthplace of antique raceboat regattas. The Museum will open for the 2016 season on Friday, May 6. For more information, please visit the Museum’s website at

Monday, March 7, 2016

Debra Rantanen named Educator at the Antique Boat Museum, Clayton NY

Debra Rantanen, ABM Educator

CLAYTON, New York (March 7, 2016) – The Antique Boat Museum (ABM), North America’s premier freshwater nautical museum based in Clayton, NY, announced today that Debra Rantanen has been named Educator.

Rantanen brings more than 15 years of educational and teaching experience to the Museum, having taught and developed educational programming in both the public and private school systems. As Educator, Rantanen will be responsible for the ABM’s educational courses including family boatbuilding, Symposium, and Camp ABM. In addition, she will play an integral role in developing programming related to the Museum’s exhibits and on-water offerings.

“I am elated to be joining the staff at the ABM. This is a tremendous opportunity to design educational programming which showcases the unique resources in the Museum’s collections, as well as promoting the cultural heritage of the St Lawrence River communities. One of the values of a museum is in its dedication to sharing and interpreting the unique cultural resources it has. I look forward to reaching out to the multiple groups – museum members, schools, local communities, and visitors to create exciting learning opportunities for all,” Rantanen said.

She and her husband, Andy, reside in Clayton.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016


CLAYTON, New York (February 24, 2016) – The New York State Tourism Industry Association (NYSTIA) announced today that it will host the 2016 Empire State Tourism Conference, along with I Love NY, this coming May 2-4 at the 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel in Clayton.
“It is an honor for the 1000 Islands region to serve as host of this prestigious conference which will draw tourism professionals from all corners of this great state,” shared Michael Folsom, Conference Chairman. “By being in Clayton, this conference provides an ideal opportunity for the region to shine and share with fellow NY tourist destinations that the 1000 Islands is an extraordinary place everyone should experience and enjoy.”
The 3-day conference will kick-off on May 2 with opening remarks from NYS Senator Richard Funke (55th District), Chair of the Cultural Affairs, Tourism, and Parks & Recreation committee, as well as a presentation by I Love NY. Also on May 2, the 1000 Islands International Tourism Council, a diamond level sponsor of the conference, will host evening festivities which include a tour boat ride and reception at the area’s most iconic attraction, Boldt Castle.
The theme of this year’s conference, “The Future is Now,” will be complimented by a number of breakout sessions and panel discussions on topics ranging from social media to audience targeting. Barbara Wold, an internationally known speaker and authority to the retail, consumer, hospitality and tourism industries with more than 40 years of firsthand experience in management and marketing, will serve as keynote speaker, as will Michael Johnson, Dean of Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration.
“NYSTIA is looking forward to highlighting the tremendous assets of the 1000 Islands Vacation Region during our annual conference,” said Jill Delaney, President and CEO of NYSTIA. “As New York State’s 4th largest employer, tourism continues to drive the state’s economy, and our conference is sure to further support that momentum with cutting-edge educational programming and collaboration opportunities.”
Along with today’s announcement, a logo for the conference has been introduced, providing branding recognition for the region as the host site. The logo, created by Riverside Media of Clayton, features the 1000 Islands International Bridge connecting upstate NY to Canada, NYS Park’s Rock Island Lighthouse, the Antique Boat Museum’s commuter yacht Zipper, and a row of tall standing trees representing the landscape of the Islands. A blue ribbon encompasses the lower portion of the logo symbolizing the majestic St. Lawrence River.
To register for the conference or for more information, visit Sponsorship opportunities are also available by contacting Dawn Borchert at

NYSTIA is organized for the purposes of bringing together New York State tourism industry interests to: advocate government policies and programs which will strengthen the industry; to raise the level of professionalism within the industry; to encourage the development of cooperative relationships and partnerships among its members; and to raise consumer awareness and appreciation of travel and vacation opportunities in New York State.

Monday, February 22, 2016

The Antique Boat Museum (ABM) SYMPOSIUM TO BE HELD MAY 13-15, 2016

CLAYTON, New York (February 22, 2016) - The Antique Boat Museum (ABM), North America's premier freshwater nautical museum based in Clayton, NY, announced today the details of the 2016 Antique & Classic Boat Society (ACBS) and ABM jointly hosted Symposium, a weekend full of in-depth and hands-on workshops, to be held May 13-15 at the Museum.
In response to member demand, this year's Symposium will offer workshops on repair techniques for vintage fiberglass boats, as well as basic restoration techniques in wood repair and finishing. Additionally, there will be sessions on getting the best performance from both inboard and outboard motors, marine castings and pattern making, and researching your boat. The weekend will also feature a presentation by Tony Mollica on the history of a local boat manufacturer, Fitzgerald & Lee, and its association with Gar Wood.
Registration is only $199 ($225 after April 25) for adults and $100 ($110 after April 25) for youth under 18 years of age. Fees cover all lesson materials and select meals - Friday (dinner), Saturday (breakfast and lunch), and Sunday (breakfast).
Online registration will open on Tuesday, March 1 at or contact ABM Educator Debra Rantanen at 315-686-4104 ext. 235.

About ABM

Located on the St. Lawrence River in upstate NY, the ABM features a collection of over 300 antique and classic boats, among thousands of recreational boating artifacts, including the world's largest runabout, Pardon Me, and a 113-year old gilded-age two-story houseboat, La Duchesse. In addition, the ABM plays host to the longest running antique boat show in North America and is considered the birthplace of antique raceboat regattas. The Museum will open for the 2016 season on Friday, May 6. For more information, please visit the Museum's website at

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Singer Castle on Dark Island represented at the Syracuse Boat Show, NYS Fairgrounds

Singer Castle, Dark Island display at the Syracuse Boat Show
New York State Fairgrounds 2/19 through 2/21/2016
Photo by Jean Papke

Yes, you can have a selfie taken with a life-size Frederick G. Bourne cutout. FG Bourne, of Singer Sewing Manufacturing fame, had the castle built in the Thousand Islands.