Recently, I posted some advertising for a product endorsed by H. H. Warner called “Adamant Plaster,” which was apparently used in Warner’s Cottage on the St. Lawrence River. The advertisements were sent to me by Kevin Taft along with some other interesting material, including some stereoscopic slides that purport to show the Warner Cottage as it existed in the 1880’s. I believe that Jack Stecher also chanced upon these views and actually visited Warner Island back in the 1990’s. It seems that Warner Island was originally called “Surveyor’s Island” in recognition that it served as a base for the American Commission overseeing boundary mapping vis a vis Canada. Warner renamed the island and erected his cottage there. The island was later referred to as Jewell Island and currently as Stoney Crest. It seems that a good many of the thousand islands were destroyed courtesy of the St. Lawrence Seaway Project in the 1950’s that also claimed Warner’s cottage.
These views show Warner Island and life on the Thousand Island River as it existed when Warner used it as his playground. Indeed the photograph of the cottage bears a striking resemblence to the image on the sheet music “Thousand Island River.” The cards are titled “Scenery among the Thousand Islands on the River St. Lawrence” from Crossmon House Photographic Studio, Alexandria Bay, Jefferson County, N.Y., A.C. McIntyre & Co., Artists. On the line marked “View” is written “Warner Island.”
The description of the scene on the back of the card reads as follows:
“‘The Thousand Islands’ of the St. Lawrence have long been regarded one of the most delightful resorts for rest, healthful recreation, and recupration anywhere to be found in the counrty. The river in the neighborhood of the Bay is in places fairly crammed with beautiful islands, nearly all of them covered with trees and shrubs, the pure water from the Great Lakes running between and around in channels large or small, swift or slow, and frequently into the bays or coves where fishing parties love to linger. Some of the shores are rocky and precipitous, and others slope gently to the water’s edge. There are at least a dozen different kinds of trees on these islands, and the deciduous and evergreen are pleasantly intermixed. The spacious and elegant hotels erected at Alexandria Bay two years since, together with the increased faciities of reaching the locality, have attracted thither many thousands of visitors from every section of the country. The Crossmon House, in all its appointments, takes rank among the first hotels in the State. Excursion tickets are issued via Rome, Watertown & Ogdensburgh R. R. to Alexandria Bay and retun. This Company offers to pleasure travel, via the St. Lawrence River, advantages and comforts superior to any other route, and by which the Pleasure Seeker can have a view of the Thousand Islands and rapids by daylight, and enjoy a delightful sail of 30 miles on steamer Faxton from Cape Vincent to Alexandia Bay. The Utica & Black River Railroad connects at Utica with the N. Y. Central for Morristown and Clayton, and at latter place with Steamers for Alexandria Bay.”