Little known to visitors because most boat tours did not pass this way, the group of islands in Chippewa Bay was once more prominent because of the Chippewa Bay Yacht Club, which won and hosted Gold Cup Races here. Since Dark Island has been opened to the public, more visitors discover this beautiful area.
Chippewa Bay was favored by duck hunters at the turn of the twentieth century. The story is told of Frederick Bourne bringing his family, finally to see the "shooting box" he had been building for years. They threaded their way among these islands until rounding the tip of Ingleneuk Island, they were astonished to see the great granite pile of their new "castle" on Dark Island.
Although Frederic and Frederick looked at each other's islands across the water, they probably saw little of each other. Frederic Bourne was in quite a different league from most members of the summer colony. He had several homes and yachts and did not spend the entire season here. Dark Island was built for fall hunting, but the family subsequently enjoyed it longer each year.
Frederic Remington, unlike his neighbor, did spend a long season here. Although best known for his western scenes and bronzes, painted several Chippewa Bay landscapes. The major museum of his work is nearby at Ogdensburg.
Ironsides Island, locale for a breeding colony of Great Blue Herons, was designated a Natural National Landmark in 1967.
Cedar Island State Park occupies half of Chippewa Bay's largest island. Accessible only by boat, it provides day use but not camping.
Islands have typical contours, generally elongated granite formations aligned with the river itself, like stone ships with "flagged" pine masts.
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