Revisiting the Waltham, Sheen, Mansfield & Chichester 1848 Petition

December 18, 2014

In my post of July 10, 2014 titled “A 1848 Group Land Petition from Waltham, Sheen, Mansfield & Chichester,” I shared about a petition that was done by the citizens of those townships.

I found the petition at the Library and Archives in Ottawa in 2012 but the film was very dim, fuzzy and my copies were not great.  I was unable to read all the pages but managed to at least transcribe one of the documents which is the petition signed by the settlers.

Well, I found another copy at the Archives of Ontario on the York University campus in Toronto and this copy was much better so I was able to get more documents.

The petition is still hard to read but you will find a few changes to the post I have mentioned above, where I attempt to read the names again. I will not repeat the petition here but add more documents.  There was another letter, and the jacket of the court document.

  • Canada Land Petitions
  • “W” Bundle 5, 1848-1850
  • RG 1, L3, Vol. 540 (a)

 1482

Petition of the inhabitants of the Township of Sheen

For reduction in the price of land

 The only good

Land in the Township lies along (on the left side of the page)

 Agreably to the returns of Mr. Joseph Macon the Surveyor who has been employed in the subdivision and laying out the Arable part of the Township of Sheen, it appears that the settled partion thereof, which is the line of Chichester between the Ottawa and the base of an elevated and rugged range of Hills, which traverses the Township along Downey’s Creek to the foot of the Deep reach, and thence along the immediate banks of the Ottawa in front of Sheen. This tract is however of limited extent containing only eighty five lots, averaging about 100 acres each, and is in many places uneven and of inferior quality besides, that the merchantable timber has been almost totally cut away in the extensive lumbering carried on in that section of the County of Ottawa.

 The above description of the land in Sheen, would apply equally to the Township of Waltham, Mansfield and Chichester, wherein the land fit for settlement (and which is in Chief part settled by squatters as in Sheen_ extends from the Ottawa back some two or three ranges to the base of the chain of Mountains above mentioned.

 C.L. O. Surveying Department

Montreal 7 June 1848

 As specifications of the surveyed parts of these Townships, are new prepared for the _____ it would be desirable (should a reduction of price be deemed advisable) that the new rate should be fixed upon in time to appear in the list of lots advertised for sale.

 The price of land in the old surveyed Townships on the Ottawa, Litchfield included which adjoins Mansfield, is [9] per acre.  The lands in the Grant Calumet and Allumette Islands have been advertised at the same _____.  The price suggested by the Petitioners is 3f per acre.

[T. Boutlaittie]

======================================

Right side of the jacket

 1434 W4 Report of the W172 Commissioner of Crown Lands.

 Referred to the Committee of the Honourable the Executive Council.

C.L.G  and other signatures.

 Note:  There is very faint writing below – unreadable.

 The left side of the Jacket.  Note:  This is very dark….

 __________________28 June 1848

The committee [recommends] that the price of the land in question be reduced to the rate of 3 shillings per acre.

Approved in Council 1 July 1848

___________________7 July 1848

 The Committee 19 July 1848

 The Assistant Commissioner is in doubt whether he is to consider _____minutes above referred to ____the price of land, as confined solely to the Township of Sheen or as comprising also the Townships of Waltham, Mansfield and Chichester.

 As the Report state the land in those three Townships to be of similar quality to that in Sheen, and where fit for settlement ____, chiefly occupied by squatters also.

The committee are of the opinion that the price of land should be priced to the __________in Sheen of three shillings per Acre.

 Approved in Council 22 July 1848.

_____________________C.C.L. 25 July 1848

I wish the documents were easier to read, I gave it my best try.

When I visited Ontario and Quebec in 2012, I really tried to dig into the records to try to get as far back as possible for the Sheen and Chichester area or Pontiac County for that matter.  I believe this is one of the oldest documents for the settlement of the area.


Ottawa Lumber Kings — Alexander & Janet (Young) McDonell

December 6, 2014

Years ago Elaine sent me a newspaper from Chapeau and in that newspaper was a very interesting article about early settlers in the Chapeau and Chichester area.  Elaine would be interested in the Jewell Family and me, well I was interested in the MacDonnell Brothers that the article shared about.  Elaine is the author of the book about the deaths and burials of the St. Alphonsus Catholic Church in Chapeau and a Burns descendant.

Early Settlers...

Early Settlers…

This article mentions MacDonnell brothers who had settled at Sand Point and I became curious.  In the article above it mentions Alexander MacDonnell at Sand Point, Colin at Birchell’s du Fort*, Rory on Calumet Island and John on Allumette Island.

So in 2012, I drove into Arnprior through all the construction and found my way to the Archives which are in the basement of the public library in the middle of town. Here is the post I wrote.

Arnprior, Renfrew County, Ontario: Archives,”June 15, 2012.

After I spent several hours gathering information, I headed out and visited the Albert Street Cemetery which over a few blocks towards the Ottawa River.  This is where Alexander and Janet (Young) MacDonell were buried. On his tombstone the name is spelled McDonell.

Arnprior: Albert Street Cemetery!” June 15, 2012

Arnprior-Braeside Archives: http://www.adarchives.org/index.html

I have learned that this cemetery may have been called “Inchbuie” cemetery in the past.

To find the graves in this cemetery you can go to the website of the Grave Marker Gallery for Ontario select Eastern Ontario then Renfrew County, and then scroll down to McNab and Braeside for those cemeteries and further for the Town of Arnprior  which has pictures for the Albert Street Cemetery and click on Block A.

http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~murrayp/renfrew/index.htm

Duncan Darby MacDonald in his Book of Charts Part IV, Chart 13 the Lundie MacDonells has the brothers listed in the above article as sons of the Alexander and Janet MacDonell (1754 to 1847 both lifespans) who are buried in the St. Alexandre De Chenaux Cemetery in Clarendon Twp., Pontiac Co., Quebec that I posted about in the previous post on this blog!

To find this cemetery you need to go the Grave Marker website choose Quebec, then Pontiac and then scroll down to Clarendon Twp. which is across from Sand Point on the Quebec side of the Ottawa River.

http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~cangmg/quebec/pontiac/index.htm

Here is the source information for Duncan D. MacDonald’s book of genealogical charts.

Source: A collection of genealogical charts  Part-IV, 3rd Edition, ISBN O-921133-39-1.  Much of the earlier work done by Daniel F. McDonald of Bristol, Conn and other members of his family at Bridgend (Stone Villa) Lancaster.  A second edition was published in 1988 and the 3rd in 1993.  FHL#971.37 D2, book only.  

There are 15 pages for Chart 13.  I refer to Chart 13, Sheet – 3 page 724, Sheet 3-A page 725, Sheet 3-B page 726, Sheet 3-C page 727 Ancestors and Descendants of Alexander & Janet MacDonell, Sheet 3-D page 728, Sheet 3-E, page 729.

In these pages Duncan has pictures of Alexander’s home in Sand Point. I have seen the beautiful brick house up against a hill overlooking the Ottawa River and was surprised it was set back so far.  Duncan further shares about Alexander’s businesses with photos and more stories.

Ottawa Region - Canadian Government

Ottawa Region – Canadian Government

The above map is the best I can do to capture the Ottawa River and the area we are talking about. Click on it and it will get larger.  You can find Sand Point at the bottom right, Sheenboro is at the top left behind the blue control which does not work on this map because it is a jpg.  If you look hard enough you can find Calumet Island by finding Bryson on the Quebec side and go northwest. Allumette Island find Chapeau and Pembroke.  This is a topo from the Canadian Government website.

These MacDonnell brothers were called the Otttawa River MacDonnells or Lumber Kings of the Ottawa River at Sand Point.

Once again we get variations in the spelling of the surname depending on the author: MacDonell, MacDonnell, and McDonnell so be aware.

Alexander MacDonnell who married Janet Young and settled at Sand Point (Renfrew County) is referred to as the King of the Four Rivers:

He would bring the lumber down these rivers to the Ottawa River or he did a great deal of exploring of the area and rivers for lumber. This Alexander and Janet are buried in the Albert Street Cemetery in Arnprior, Ontario (1795 to 1896 both lifespans).

According to Duncan Darby MacDonald his Chart 13, Sheet 3-A page 725 he writes:

“Of the 11 brothers 6 are reported to have gone to make their mark on the “Ottawa.””  

So Alexander and Janet MacDonell natives of Knoydart, Scotland (Inverness) had the following children according to Sheets 3 and 3-A, Chart 13, Part IV. There are differences between the two sheets like the order of the children.

Children:

  1. **Archibald, m. Anna MacMillan sheet 3-B, Chart 13
  2. Hugh m. Margaret MacLean, Chart 168, Sheets 4-12 also Chart 13, sheet 3.
  3. **Angus Mor had a son James.
  4. Ronald (drowned) – He is the one buried with them in St. Alexandre Cemetery but remember there are only 3 identified burials out of a possible 100, lost.
  5. Dougald
  6. Little Alexander – This might be Alexander Roderick who died in 1851 and is buried in the family plot of the Albert Street Cemetery?
  7. **James m. Christine MacDonald, see sheet 3 of Chart 13
  8. Rory
  9. John – see sheet 3-C and 3-E of Chart 13 Calumet and Allumette Islands. This would be the John who married Flora McKinnon and then Flora McLellan. Flora McLellan and John MacDonell were the parents of Janet who married Ronald/Ranald son of Alexander John MacDonell and Ellen McPherson see sheet 5, Chart 13 page 734.  This is the chart I dispute in my post dated November 6, 2014 of this blog regarding the parentage of Mary married to Archibald.
  10. Sam – Portage du Fort
  11. Coll of Colin – 1000 acres at *Birch’s Creek, Quebec of Les Chats
  12. Penelope m. Dr. John Judge – First doctor in Pembroke, see sheet 3
  13. Alexander and (Agnes) Janet Young – Big Alex – see sheets 3, 3-A, 3-C King of the Four rivers, buried in Arnprior.
**Angus, Archie and James stayed in the Glengarry area of Ontario per the sources I have. On another source a Mary and Janet are listed – total of 15 children?
The order of the children is also different based on the 1815 emigration information at this website:  French, Scottish, Irish, German and English families of James and Deborah McDonald:  http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=ranaldthecalf&id=I17291

There is disagreement as to how many sons there actually where, some believe there were 12; you can see that I have 13 children listed.

When I visited Arnprior in 2012, I collected articles about this Alexander MacDonnell who settled at Sand Point (above Arnprior) on the Ottawa River.

Source: History of Early Ottawa, from the Ottawa Journal dated Saturday, February 7, 1925, by a H.R. Morgan. Copied from a newspaper article in the files of the Arnprior & District Museum by James E. Isbester, 1987. About nine typed pages of which I only copied some.  

Sand Point – vanished and all but forgotten is the prominence which it enjoyed at the time when it was the western terminus of the Canada Central and Brockville and Ottawa Railroads, when it was the gateway to the Upper Ottawa region and when practically all the trade and traffic destined for that area passed through its depots and warehouses.”

Alexander McDonell and the family to which he belonged…where fishermen in their native Scotland…they emigrated in 1815 and established themselves in the Township of Drummond, not far from Perth. After the lapse of a few years, the great portion of the family left that neighborhood and betook themselves to Glengarry…whence the final move to Sand Point was made by six of the sons and two the daughters.

Alexander apparently did not take at all kindly to the primitive method of agriculture which obtained in Drummond and at an early age entered the lumbering trade upon the river Trent, when he drifted to the Ottawa. There he gained further experience and carried on a great deal of exploration. Perth was at this period the commercial metropolis of the district, and it was upon his visits to that town that he fell in with Chief McNab and the latter’s suggestion about the year 1824, accompanied him as guide upon his trip to the Ottawa to choose a site for his memorable colony of Highlanders.  This is not the Township of McNab.  http://clan-macnab.com/the-notorious-chief/

Entering the lumbering trade:

It was not long after this that Alexander McDonell embarked upon lumber in his own behalf and his first raft of red pine timber was made from trees cut down immediately in rear of the place which he had decided upon as his future abode. This was Sand Point where he cleared a farm, built a dwelling house and remained until the time of his death. 

This article goes on to describes his interactions with the Indians and the Hudson’s Bay Company to bring timber down the Bonnechere. His exploration of the rivers in the area. The article states the government introduced timber licensing and in 1826-27 McDonell made the first raft of red pine timber ever taken from Mud Lake upon the Bonnechere.

In 1830, in Montreal, Mr. McDonell was married to Miss Janet Young, sister of the Hon. John Young, and not long afterwards a new house was built. 

Here is another source I found that has some interesting information:

Source:  Sand Point, Ontario c. 1824 to 1994, by Dalton Appleby 6/4/1994. Not sure how many pages for this manuscript but it may be a good 10. I copied some but not all. 

What is presented here is a brief summary of the above source found at the Arnprior-Braeside Archives in Arnprior which is fairly detailed.

The village of Sand Point, is situated six miles west of Arnprior, at Concession XIII, Lots 18 & 19 in the Township of McNab, Renfrew County. It is on the south shore of Chats Lake on the mighty Ottawa River.

It got its beginning, long before roads, railways and telephones existed west of Ottawa, in the 1820’s. Alexander MacDonnell a Scotsman from Glengarry County, Ontario chose the location as his headquarters for exploring timber rights in the area. 

MacDonnell House in Sand Point

MacDonnell House in Sand Point

He built a temporary headquarters and later built a permanent complex on higher ground above the wharf in the 1850s. It consisted of a commercial, residential, entertainment complex (Chats Lake House), a long narrow office building and a large prestigious looking residence for himself, all faced with limestone blocks. The arrival of the railroad in the 1860s gave a tremendous boost to the expansion of the area.  It included boarding houses, a hotel, a school, two churches, two cemeteries, two grocery stores, a dairy, a stave factory, a powder factory, a limekiln, a shipyard, tenements, a cement ferry dock… 

MacDonnell donated the land for the Catholic church, the public school, the Presbyterian Church and no doubt other structures. 

34 The Youngs, of Montreal Harbour fame, and the MacDonnells were related by marriage. Alexander married Janet Young. Alexander entice the Youngs to come to Sand Point to help him to develop the village. 

35 MacDonnell enticed the McDonalds from Glengarry County, related by marriage to come and run his commercial enterprise in the 1860s. Catholic Scotsman Ronald McDonald, his wife Penelope and their two children Flora Ann born in 1859 and John Ronald (John R.) born in 1860 arrived in Sand Point some time after the children were born and before the 1871 census which lists them in McNab Township. They came from Lochiel, Glengarry Co,, Ontario. Ronald was born in Inverness Shire, Scotland in 1814 or 15….

John R. sister Flora married John Brennan and lived in the MacDonnell house. John R. married Ellen Toner of Portage Du Fort in the 90s. Her father Captain Toner used to doc at the wooden wharf…Ellen and John R. had at least five children: Patsy, Claire, Vita and Flora.

MacDonnell-McDonald Family tree

MacDonnell Tree

MacDonnell Tree

There is so much more about this man’s business interests and family in the sources above but not a lot about his family connections.

From the above sources there are a lot of places to start doing research on this family. Also, to widen the net of your research by expanding the geography of your search. Montreal is mentioned for the marriage and the Youngs apparently were prominent, The last article describes census for 1851, 1871, 1881, 1901 for McNab Township which might be interesting to take a look at. Of course petitions and land records for Renfrew and Pontiac (Quebec notaries).

Mr. MacDonald’s charts point to Beckwith and Drummond Twps. in Lanark, formerly the Bathhurst District and one could go back even further in the records of the area, if they exist?

My curiosity has been satisfied.  I was interested in this Lumber King Alexander MacDonell’s family connections. It seems I have at least found some sources that can lead to more research.

Keeping all this in mind, my interest now returns to my family and the origins of Alexander John MacDonell and Ellen McPherson and their daughter Mary who married Archibald MacDonell.  So I will be studying Chart 13, Sheet 5, Part IV quite a lot and disputing Mr. MacDonald’s lineages as necessary.

*Birchell Du Fort – where is this location in the Ottawa area? If you know please help me out and leave a comment.  It might have something to do with Chats Lake a part of the Ottawa River between Sand Point and Ottawa City?  Another variation on Mr. MacDonald’s chart was Birch’s Creek Les Chats Quebec.  Modern maps are not helping.

St-Alexandre Des Chenaux RC Cemetery…Clarendon Twp.

November 21, 2014
St. Alexandre Cemetery

St. Alexandre Cemetery

One of the notes on Duncan D. MacDonald’s charts about Alexander McDonell and Janet caught my eye before I headed out on my trip to Canada in September 2014.  He wrote that they were buried in Stark’s Corner.  It was on Sheet 2-A, Chart 13 of his Part IV Collection of charts book.

I was at the Quebec Family History Society in Pointe-Claire, Quebec looking at their cemetery records for Pontiac County, Quebec and the volunteer pulled this three page typed paper and I got real excited.  This society has a great collection of cemetery records for Quebec.

I have been all over the Stark’s Corner Cemetery records at the Ontario Genealogical Society and also at the Quebec Family History Society and there is no record of any McD’s in this cemetery located in Clarendon Twp., Pontiac Co., Quebec.  This is also not a Catholic cemetery.

Source: Stark’s Corner Community Cemetery, including Stark Family Cemetery, Stark’s Corner United Church Cemetery also known as Stark’s Corner’s Presbyterian Church Cemetery. Recorded August 1991 by Robbie Gorr, Lot 20 A Range 3.  

Here is the link to the Grave Marker Gallery for Starks Corner with tombstone pictures.  There are no McD’s listed.

http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~cangmg/quebec/pontiac/clarendo/starksco/index.htm

Well…when the volunteer at the Quebec Family History Society pulled this manuscript, I knew it was Alexander and Janet…

Source:  St-Alexandre Des Chenaux Roman Catholic Cemetery (also known as Ste-Melanie de Clarendon Roman Catholic Cemetery). Lot 24, Range 1, Clarendon Twp., Recorded May 1992 by Robbie Gorr.  The title is: The Lone Sentinel of the Past:

Try the Grave Marker Gallery for photos:

http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~cangmg/quebec/pontiac/clarendo/stalexan/index.htm

This is a story of neglect and abandonment.  This cemetery was abandoned and subsequent owners have plowed up the area.  It is estimated that 100 wooden crosses were once there.  There is now only this one lone sentinel, obelisk left. As far as the article indicates there are no records.  The chapel that was there did burn down but the article states that a transfer of the church and cemetery to Portage Du Fort occurred, and Hwy 303 was built bypassing the area.

These are the grandparents of Janet, who married Ronald son of Alexander John McDonell and Ellen McPherson.  This is the Lundie McDonald connection.

The east side reads of the tall stone reads:

Alex McDonell died Jan. 1, 1842 AE 88 Yrs

his wife Janet died Jan. 14, 1847 AE 84 yrs.

The south side reads:

Their Son Ranald drowned July 18, 1854 AE 68 yrs. 

This article reads:

In 1840 Alexander McDonell donated an eight acre plot of land for a Roman Catholic Chapel and cemetery to be built, the nearest at that time being at Calumet Island.”

The mission of Ste-Melanie continued to be served by the incumbents of Calumet until 1854 when Father Bouvier completed the construction of the stone church…at Portage Du Fort and opened a new cemetery. The log chapel and cemetery at Clarendon were abandoned…The chapel is said to have burned down…”

“When the chapel (finally) was built, it was alongside the road which ran from Aylmer to Portage Du Fort. That road was abandoned in favour of the present Highwy 303 which runs between Portage du Fort and Shawville, nearly a mile to the north of the chapel site, thus making the cemetery a long distance from any public road, out of sight from passerby and inaccessible on private land with the permission of the owners.

Another comment made in the article is the name was changed because of another St. Alexandre cemetery at Sandpoint?

I followed out one of the sources listed:

Lone Sentinel of the Past” by S. Wyman MacKechnie from Ottawa Branch News, Volume XIII, Numbr 1, January-February 1980.”

It is of course the magazine of the Ottawa Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society.  Family History Library had copies and I found the article in a very tightly bounded volume, FHL Book 971-384 D25o V. 13, No. 1, Jan/Feb 1980.  This is a reprint from the Shawville Equity, September 28, 1977 with minor changes by the author.

I found it interesting that in this version the Ottawa Branch News, it was a brother-in-law of Alexander’s that pooled his land with Alexander for the purpose of the chapel and cemetery, not just Alexander donating land as the 3 page manuscript suggests.  This individual received the land from his services in the Battle of Waterloo.  I would like to see the Shawville Equity Article just to see what was really written.

In 2012, when I was touring the Upper Ottawa area and driving from Renfrew city to Portage Du Fort to Shawville, I went right by there on Hwy 303 several times and could have sought out this tombstone. I was trying to identify cemeteries with McD’s in them in the area and I was all over the internet and cemetery books but this one I missed.  I have realized since I came home and did my 2nd tour of Canada that I did not extend my searches wide enough but then I didn’t have a lot of time.

Here are the other sources in the article and I have not been able to find online versions probably due to copyright:

Highways of Destiny, A History of the Diocese of Pembroke, Ottawa Valley Canada, by Rev. Wm. C. O’Dwyer, 1964.

Clarendon and Shawville, by J. Lloyd Armstrong, Dickson Enterprises, Shawville, 1980.

Lift Up Your Hearts, A History of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pembroke, by Rev. Joseph C. Legree, 1988.

If anyone knows this cemetery, has photos and is willing to share, please contact me and leave a comment


Salt Lake City and the British Institute…

October 29, 2014

I am now home again and back from my trip to Salt Lake City.  It is nice to be home for a while and concentrate on the research.  I am behind having been gone all of September 2014 and then a week in October 2014.  I have yet to source my findings from my trip to Canada and so that needs to be done.  I have some things to add to my research from my work at the Family History Library last week.  So I am busy.

The class on Scottish genealogical research was excellent and I am pleased that I attended.  Our teacher Paul Milner is very knowledgeable and personable. He has a blog on WordPress and he writes about the sources for both Scottish and English research:   http://www.milnergenealogy.com/

Staying at the Salt Lake Plaza Hotel which is right next door to the FHLibrary is really the best way to go.  I didn’t have to walk all over the place like last year when I was at the Howard Johnson.  Here is the website for the British Institute:  http://www.isbgfh.org/  Unfortunately, I am not use to the new Nikon I bought and my pictures of my Scottish class came out fuzzy, Sigh!

British Institute Irish Class

British Institute Irish Class at Salt Lake Plaza Hotel

DSCN0530

Stacks on B2 British Isles

DSCN0528

British Isles Floor FHL

B2 British Isles FHL

B2 British Isles FHL

City Creek Fountain SLC

City Creek Fountain SLC shopping center

Temple Square Sparkles

Temple Square Sparkles


Genealogical Education: Returning to the British Institute in 2014

October 13, 2014
Templegrds

2006 Temple Square SLC

Last year in October 2013, I took the Sources for Tracing Pre-mid-Nineteeth Cemetery Ancestors course offered by the British Institute in Salt Lake City, Utah, which is sponsored by the International Society for British Genealogy and Family History. http://www.isbgfh.org/

The course was excellent and one of my teachers appeared on an episode this last year of “Who Do You Think You Are?”  I was very excited when I saw Paul Blake on the show.  http://www.tlc.com/tv-shows/who-do-you-think-you-are

I spent some of the time searching for my Spracklin ancestors in the Somerset and Dorset area of England.  It was very interesting.  My father’s grandmother was Amarilla Spracklin Barclay.  I was also trying to get more evidence for John Keller’s origins, he is a 3rd great grandfather.  I am also making slow progress on the McDonald side in the research and will be posting about those findings in the future.

Family History Library 2006

Family History Library 2006

This year in 2014, I will be attending the Institute again in Salt Lake City and taking Scottish Research: The Fundamentals and Beyond, by Paul Milner.  It is time for me to get serious about Scottish research.  So I am currently in the process of preparing to attend this course and getting ready for the trip to Salt Lake City.  I also plan to take advantage of the opportunity to do more of the family research at the Family History Library.  It will be a very intense week of classes and researching.  So I will be getting back to posting on this blog some time in November 2014 about my findings in Ontario and more.

The Line at opening to the Family History Library

The Line at opening to the Family History Library

This will be my sixth trip to Salt Lake City and the Family History Library.  https://familysearch.org/locations/saltlakecity-library  This library and their online website for their records has contributed greatly to my research successes.  https://familysearch.org/search  I do know of people who go there even more than six times.

2009 3rd Floor Family History Library

2009 3rd Floor Family History Library

At the National Genealogical Society Conference held in Salt Lake City in 2010 Family Search announced that they would digitize their whole collection and it would take 100 years but they had created ways to improve digital transfer so they could do it in 10 years.  I was amazed.  Every time I go to their website it changes and gets better and better and sometimes more complicated.

2013 British Institute

2013 British Institute getting ready…

2013 British Institute Class

2013 British Institute Class

Well it is time to get back to planning for this trip.  One of the requirements is to read a book on Scottish History, so I best go and get my two chapters in.

The History of Scotland,” by Peter & Fiona Somerset Fry, reprinted several times 1997.


New York Wanderings: Heading Home…

October 8, 2014

After my tour of Boldt Castle and the shuttle back to Alexandria Bay and the pier, I headed to my lodging at Bonnie Castle.  They had huge signs for Bonnie Castle but I didn’t see any mention of the office so turn to the left of the sign as you enter.  I parked and went in.  It took a good 20 minutes to get to the desk and get checked in, it was crowded with people.  Getting to my room was not easy at Bonnie Castle.  I was to park at the rock wall near the entrance to the pub and restaurant.  Turn to the right and up some short steps through a door, down a hallway to another door, turn right through another door to a courtyard and then up some short steps to another door and my room was 2nd on the left.  Needless to say I didn’t bring all my stuff into the room.  I did do two loads but mixed it up with dinner.

My room was awesome!  It was roomy, with a desk, large bed, two chairs and table, a kitchenette with a refrigerator but I don’t remember a microwave.  The bathroom was huge except the door blocked the toilet.

Mostly importantly, I had a great view of Boldt Castle, and the St. Lawrence River and a door to a small lanai with two chairs.

Boldt Castle in the distance

Boldt Castle in the distance

The lighthouse

The lighthouse

DSC09828

A brave boatman

The St. Lawrence River

The St. Lawrence River

Sunsets at Boldt Castle

Sunsets at Boldt Castle and one last tourist boat…

Bonnie Castle has several restaurants but the main one does not open till 5 pm.  So I headed to the pub.  I settled in at the bar and got a hamburger. It was fun to sit there and enjoy the view through the window of the river and the castle.  There was a lot of activity in the pub because it was the only place where there was food.  They let me take a glass of wine back to my room so I could enjoy the lanai.  Lovely…

Morning came to Alexandria Bay and I noticed they had turned the lights out on the Castle.  They did have them on into the night.

Morning - Boldt Castle

Morning – Boldt Castle main restaurant view

It was Saturday, September 27th and time to head to Buffalo.  My flight to Seattle was the next day so I had some traveling to do.

Breakfast was served in the main restaurant at 7 am of Bonnie Castle so I headed through the labyrinth of hallways to the main area and with locked doors I had to find a new route.  Breakfast was a buffet and the room was not busy at all. I settled in to just eat, enjoy the view and the sun rising over the St. Lawrence River.  Breakfast is not included in the room and was good and not bad at $13.00.  I’ve paid more.

I gathered my things and packed up the car and headed out in search of a gas station.  It was not to hard to find and I was soon on my way and back on I-81. The drive south on this highway was pretty easy being early in the morning and having done it the day before. I stopped again at the restaurant I had been to before at Exit #32.  I needed to take a break because I would be on I-90 west for quite a while.  It took about 1 hour and 15 minutes to get to Exit #32, not bad.  The restaurant was Good Golly..something like that!  Sort of like a Denny’s but a little nicer.

I have traveled down the eastern side of the state of New York through the Adirondacks and up and down the western side which is very different.  I would be driving to Buffalo on I-90 west which is slightly above the middle of the state.  I mostly in the upper area of New York State.

I have never been to New York City. I have seen New York City from the New Jersey airport and that is the closest I have gotten.  I have always wanted to attend a Broadway show, sit in at the Rachel Ray TV show, and dangle my feet at the New York Public Library.  I had forgotten that I had poked around some in New York City genealogy for a friend of the family and was looking at immigration records in the early 1900’s.  I suppose I should add the Statue of Liberty on my list and Ellis Island as well and the Empire State Building.  I would not be going anywhere near NYC this trip.

In 1985 I gave to the Ellis Island Centennial Commission.  It was not much but they sent me a certificate of Charter Membership which was supposedly signed by Gerald Ford?  I got a membership card as well. A nice letter signed by Lee A. Iacocca, Chairman.  I occasionally go online to see if there is anything of interest in the records, but my family all came over so early that I rarely do.  http://www.libertyellisfoundation.org/genealogy  It is probably time to donate again.

New York Counties

New York Counties

I-81 would take me to Syracuse and I really didn’t want to go through and deal with traffic in that city.  It turned out good because Exit 25A came up really quick and the lanes had gone from 2 to 3.  I turned off and came up to the toll booth, moving left to get into the correct lane and not the EZ pass lane. The man handed me a ticket and said “Have a good one.

I-90 is pretty straight and the only thing of real interest is the signage telling you what exit it is and where the service areas are.  It was very busy however, and that made it difficult to get around slower moving vehicles. Looking back in the rearview mirror and side mirror you would see a long line of cars trying to get around you.  I had a few bumper drivers on me and it was so odd because they had plenty of time to go around me but wouldn’t do it.  http://www.thruway.ny.gov/index.shtml  This is a 4 lane highway two lanes on each side with plenty of time to pass.

From Syracuse to Buffalo it was 130 miles.  I was not going into Buffalo but only to the eastern side of the airport at Exit 49.  I figured that meant I would only have 110 miles to go. Again the exits are far apart anywhere from 10 to 13 miles in between.  I came up to Exit 48 A & B and thought I would next get to Exit 49 but no I had the Ontario Service area to drive to and beyond.  I was getting impatient.

Finally, Exit 49 came and I turned off I-90…happily. I paid my $6.50 cents which surprised me and then had to get into the right lane but this red sport car was blocking me.  I wanted to go south on #78 to Genessee St. in Cheektowaga.  Yup I was in Cheektowaga!  Their website has some interesting links to a 1812 cemetery?

I stopped to fill up the car per the rental agreement and again tried to get the gooey stuff off the right side of the car to no luck.  This happened in Toronto at the Super 8.  Someone had put their milkshake or something gooey on my car and it fell and spilled all over.  It was mess.

Oh, one thing I did not mention, the Check Engine light had been on since Cornwall.  I had called the car rental company and they said I had about 1000 miles but they would spring for an oil change if needed.  If the light was steady and not flashing then I was okay?  So I had checked the oil several times and watched for overheating.  This is the second time this has happened and I really am not thrilled.  So far I have not had a flat or problems with a rental car.  The travel gods have been very kind.

I found the Quality Inn next to the Garden Hilton.  It was a funny designed Quality Inn and a little difficult to find among the other hotels.  They put me on the 3rd floor and the stairs were very steep. I was not happy but I walked over to the McDonald’s and had lunch. Food usually helps with the patience factor and on the way back to the hotel I stopped and asked for a lower floor and I got it. YIPPEE! So I moved the car, emptied it of my stuff which was a big job and had to re-pack all my things to fly home.  The room was a mess I had both beds covered but I got it all in.

Later I went over to the Garden Hilton and they had this nice restaurant in the lobby area.  This was my celebration dinner marking the end of my trip. It was a very nice steak and good.

Morning came quickly and breakfast at this Quality Inn had hot food so I was very happy.  They have a nice lobby and breakfast area.

Getting the rental car to the airport was not too bad.  The receptionist at the hotel said I could go either way when I left the hotel, left or right on Genessee.  I went left so I could turn right into the airport and followed it along. I was back at the car rental building which is on the airport grounds.

Buffalo Airport

Buffalo Airport the hotels are visible on the south side

I turned in the rental car and said goodbye to it!  I found the United counter and checked my bags.  Security was easy because I am Premier on United and so I get to go ahead.  I found the gate and settled in.  My flight was two hours away.  I had read about 3 novels this trip.  My Nook Ap and Nookcolor Reader store the books so I can reread a novel if I want.  I was content.

The flight out of Buffalo was very late and I was certain I would not make my connection in Chicago.  After landing at O’Hare, I found the Red Carpet Club for United and they told me about the Customer Service area which was down the F concourse so I stopped there and the man said “Can you walk fast you have 3 minutes.”  So I followed his instructions and once I started to recognize things I was okay.  I was moving really fast and Chicago O’Hare is not an easy airport to get from concourse to concourse.  I found B concourse and they were still loading thank goodness.  The Customer service man called to tell them I was coming.  I was huffing and puffing by the time I got to the gate. I made it to my seat and I was so happy.  The question is did my luggage, it did!  I am liking this Premier thing!

It was EPIC my trip.  My miles were 2011 the first time to Canada in 2012. This trip the total was 1964 miles.  It was a whole 47 miles less!  Still I think it was EPIC.  HA!

I was home and I was glad.  It was nice to see my hubby, my car, my cats and be in familiar territory.


New York Wanderings: Boldt Castle the grounds and the view!

October 7, 2014

Apparently, Louise Boldt found the Thousand Islands to be a place where she could relax from the stress of living in New York City and her husband’s career as a hotel man.   He managed the Philadelphia Club and later the Bellevue, and later the Bellevue Stratford Hotel.  Astor built the Waldorf Astoria and Boldt was its proprietor.  I guess George had to mediate a hotel war with the Astor brothers.  The Empire State building now occupies the site of this hotel.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Boldt

Boldt Castle rises out of the island and is surrounded by lovely landscaping and great views.  You can get right down to the water.  The pictures will show the Castle and the other structures on the island:  The Power House at the east end of the island, the Italian Garden, Alster Tower the whimsical tower, the archway, the Tower and the gazebo, views of Alexandria Bay, the Boathouse across from Heart Island.  I spent a happy 3 hours on the island.

This is a slide show so click on one of the photos and it will open, then go to the upper left corner find the x and click that to close otherwise you will close it all out and have to come back.

 


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