When Paul Malo and his team created TI Life in 2006, they determined there were 22 Thousand Islands communities in our section of the St. Lawrence River. Some are large like Kingston, Brockville, Alex Bay and Clayton with several histories published over the years – but others are small groups of families, neighbors and cottages. Many remain almost unknown. Luckily for us, there have been some fascinated islanders – ready to stop and research their early histories.
It was back in 1988 that neighbors in the small community of Grand View Park, located on the Northwest corner of Wellesley Island, persuaded Elizabeth Pyke Stamp to capture 75 years of history. Elizabeth worked with her daughter Mary Stamp, and dozens of neighbors to put their memories and photographs in a delightful book – Glimpses of Grand View, published in book form and distributed to local libraries and available for purchase throughout the area.
I bought a copy and happily added it to my library – In fact, as I look at the book today, I see tiny bookmarks reminding me of important passages that describe our Island history perfectly.
Now fast forward 30 years and the residents on Grand View Park have come and gone. Families have grown, proudly taking over cottages to carry on their family traditions, while others were sold to new islanders who are just as passionate River Rats as those before.
This time, we not only see Elizabeth Pyke Stamp’s words and memories, but we also see her daughter and granddaughter taking the baton to commemorate today – 30 years later - Glimpses of Grand View - 30th Anniversary Edition by Karen E. Haworth and this time also edited by Mary Stamp.
This second edition is not difficult to read, because Karen has left her grandmother’s words as they were written. She writes, “Thirty years after the original Glimpses of Grandview book, we are republishing it with corrections and updates. Text in Times New Roman Regular is the original book, Text in Optima Italic … is for the 2018 additions and updates.”
We learn that Elizabeth Stamp’s last summer on the island was in 1999. She she died, the following year in Spokane, WA., on March 31, 2000. Although frail in '99, there is a lovely story of her swimming in the River on a big float – proving, as Karen writes, “she was a real River Rat.”
In the original edition of Glimpses of Grandview the first 22 pages are filled with history describing the settlement of the Thousand Islands and the Golden Era including the development of the community in the late 1880s as a summer resort with a hotel. This is where I strongly suggest you either purchase the new book or borrow it from the library as it is filled with important history. In addition, Karen has researched pieces of history or “rumors” about the large hotel built in 1887 in Grand View Park and other important buildings, and either corrects mistakes or provides much needed explanations.
Chapters 5 through 29 will interest property owners – as deeds are checked and new owners have built additions and made renovations. When I got to the end I shook my head and said out loud, “Wish more neighborhoods would find a Karen and editor Mary to capture their past and present.” There are several books around – not all listed here but fine examples are Tidd’s Island (Tremont Island near Gananoque,) Butternut Bay (near Brockville), Lynn McElfresh columns in TI Life about life on Grenell Island and of course several picture and written books about TI Park… but Karen Haworth and Mary Stamp deserve my praise, and I am pleased to give it. Find Glimpses of Grand View - 30th Anniversary Edition and put it on your bookshelf.
By Susan W. Smith, Editor, TI Life , firstname.lastname@example.org
1) Bits of Early History; 2) Hamilton Child’s Dream; 3) Grand View’s Millionaire; 4) Stories of Seldom Inn; 5) 1920s and 1930s; 6) Boating Adventures; 7) Bradley Estate; Farm, Fire, State Park; 8) Ice House Days; 9) Buxton Cottage – Camp We-e-yah-yah; 10) Buster Cottage; 11) “Pet Palace” – Loomis Cottage; 12) The House with Birch Swing; 13)The Pumphouse Cottage; 14) Lewis / Snyder /Keiser Cottages; 15) Ames Cottage; 16) ‘Seven Oaks” – Evans / Wiltse Cottage; 17) “ Sunny Bend” / “T.I. Lodge” – Eustance Cottage; 18) “Friendly Hall” / “The Bat Cottage; 19) North Shore Cottages; 20) The North Shore – Rogers’ Farm; 21) Soskice Drive Cottages; 22) Spectacle, Thrums, and Flatiron Islands; 23) Sargent’s Island; 24) Rock Point Cottage; 25) Prospect Point Cottage; 26) New Cottages Since the 1980s; 27) Reminiscences of Thomas Mitchell; 28) Tenting at the Point; 29) Grand View – Still Home.
Glimpses of Grand View - 30th Anniversary Edition by Karen E. Haworth, are mainly sold privately. Copies are available at the Michael Ringer Gallery, Clayton, Captain Spicer's on Rte 12 and the Fineview's Antique shop on Wellesley Island.
[Note: Photographs are by Mary Stamp"