Castles and Cottages: River Retreats of the Thousand Islands


96 pages
Contains Photos, Bibliography
ISBN 1-55046-398-5
DDC 728.72'09713




Photos by George Fischer

Julie Rekai Rickerd is a Toronto-based broadcaster and public-relations


The Thousand Islands, a group of about 1800 islands of all shapes and
sizes, “stretches about 50 miles (75 kilometres) downriver from the
western head of the St. Lawrence River where it joins the eastern basin
of Lake Ontario.” Since the river acts as a border between Canada and
the United States, with islands in both countries, the area became a
magnet for the summer homes of wealthy Canadian and American
industrialists. Fishing, boating, breathtaking scenery, as well as
lucrative smuggling opportunities drew a wide variety of clientele to
the region.

Each glorious photograph in this book is accompanied by well-researched
and interesting details of how each “cottage” or “castle” came
to be, who built and owned it, and the names of its illustrious
visitors. Among the renowned structures highlighted are Deer Island
Lodge, purported to be a mysterious retreat for members of Yale
University’s Skull and Bones Society; The Powerhouse and Staff
Quarters, on Pullman Island, two of the original turn-of-the-century
buildings of what used to be the luxurious Castle Rest summer estate of
George Pullman of railroad sleeping cars fame; and the imposing Singer
Castle on Dark Island, built by Frederick Bourne, president of the
Singer Sewing Machine Company. Like the “cottages” of Newport, Rhode
Island, many of the area’s structures were and are architectural gems.

Photographer George Fischer and regional historian Anthony Mollica Jr.
have collaborated with perfect synergy in producing a first-rate book
that will be of interest to residents and visitors alike.


Mollica Jr., Anthony., “Castles and Cottages: River Retreats of the Thousand Islands,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 15, 2024,