So enchanting is Lake Champlain’s siren call that it’s easy to lose sight of other similarly beautiful, culturally formative water bodies in the Northeast. But the spell is temporarily broken by folklorist Hannah Harvester in a recent episode of Borderless North.
Harvester’s “Wonders in Wool!” is an invitation to discover the maritime wonders of New York State’s 1,000 Island Region through the evocative hook rugs of folk artist Prudence Matthews.
“From a simple fish to this latest ambitious creation, Prudence Matthews uses art to proclaim her deep love for the life her family has shared in the 1,000 Islands for five generations. Using a simple metal hook and strips of wool salvaged from thrift stores she will continue to imbue her artwork with a spirit of the magical place that inspires her.” ~ Hannah Harvester (Borderless North)
Thrift stores and closets provide the material for the beautiful hooked rugs created by folk artist Prudence Matthews. Folklorist Hannah Harvester visited Prudence to learn about how the 1,000 Islands region has inspired her work. This story is part of a collaboration between Mountain Lake PBS and TAUNY, Traditional Arts in Upstate New York. Funding for this segment was provided by the Folk And Traditional Arts program at the National Endowment for the Arts. (Borderless North)
Matthews’ artistic rendering of the 1000 Island region tempts the imagination, conjuring up a whimsical world of boating, swimming and endless summer vacation. If you’re smitten, here are a few more 1000 Island temptations and resources to consider.
- Visit the 1000 Islands Inspire your spirit and renew your soul in one of the most beautiful places on the planet boasting friendly atmosphere, fresh outdoors and laid-back pace.
- 1000 Islands-Seaway Hues of blues surrounded by golds and reds… breathtaking fall scenery… shimmering blue bays… and hundreds of miles of picturesque coastline ablaze with autumn colors. From fairy-tale castles to world-class fishing and whitewater rafting, you’ll find boundless adventures.
- St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce Information on tourism in and around the St. Lawrence Seaway, local businesses, and the latest news and events.
- Great Lakes Seaway Trail This 518 mile scenic driving route follows the shores of Lake Erie, the Niagara River, Lake Ontario, and the St. Lawrence River in New York and Pennsylvania.
- Boldt Castle Boldt Castle in the 1000 Islands Region of the St. Lawrence River is a monument of George C. Boldt‘s love for his wife Louise.
- Singer Castle The Bourne family castle in the 1000 Islands Region of the St. Lawrence River, the only such estate completed, fully furnished and resided in during the industrialists heyday.
- Fort Ontario Star-shaped fort dating to the early 1840’s with 1863 – 1873 improvements.
- Sackets Harbor Battlefield Center of American naval and military activity for the upper St. Lawrence Valley and Lake Ontario after the outbreak of war between the United States and Great Britain in June 1812.
- Tibbetts Point Lighthouse Built in 1827, this lighthouse features the only original working Fresnel lens in Lake Ontario.
- Antique Boat Museum Premier fresh water nautical museum in North America with over 300 unique and beautifully-preserved boats and thousands of recreational boating artifacts.
- Wellesley Island State Park Secluded wilderness camping sites on the banks of the St. Lawrence River accessible only by foot or boat, full service marina, four boat launches, sandy beach, 9-hole Wellesley Island State Park Golf Course, and Minna Anthony Common Nature Center (museum, varied habitats such as wooded wetlands, 3 miles of shoreline and open granite outcrops, and miles of trails for hiking, cross-country skiing and nature education).
- Cedar Point State Park One of the oldest state parks in New York offering excellent camping, fishing, boating and swimming at a sheltered, sandy beach with boat docks, fishing pier and picnic grounds.
- Uncle Sam Boat Tours Providing scenic cruises of the Thousand Islands for over 85 years from its downtown Alexandria Bay, NY location opposite Boldt Castle.
- Clayton Island Tours Professional tour guides share the legends and lore behind the 1000 Islands region.
- Champagne Balloon Adventures The ultimate 1000 Islands experience floating a few feet from the water, picking leaves from a treetop and soaring a thousand feet over the 1000 Islands River Valley.
- Thousand Islands Winery Award winning winery located on an 1836 farm that was later owned and operated by famous Riverboat Captain Massey and his wife Ida in the 1930’s.