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.