THOUSAND ISLAND PARK — Cottages, boat houses and gardens along with a historical presentation will be part of the 18th Thousand Island Park Landmark Society Cottage and Garden Tour.
The tour, with the theme, “Revisiting a Movement Along the River: Religion, Retreat, and Renewal” is 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. July 18.
Thousand Island Park is on the southwest corner of Wellesley Island and was one of the several religious campground communities founded during the thriving religious revival of the late 19th century.
For 42 years, the society has worked to promote and encourage preservation, restoration and rehabilitation in the community. It was originally incorporated as the Thousand Island Park Preservation Corp.
The morning and afternoon tours will each be preceded by a short informal presentation by Ellen Detlefsen showing images and discussing the history of a number of communities, churches and chapels whose origins lie along the shores of the river.
Ms. Detlefsen is a summer resident at Thousand Island Park, with roots going back generations. She is an associate professor emerita from the University of Pittsburgh and did her graduate work for her Ph.D in 19th century American history at Columbia University and is the chairwoman of the Thousand Island Park Community Association.
Ms. Detlefsen will speak on “Religious Retreats along the St. Lawrence” which will include history of the Thousand Island Park Tabernacle where her presentations will take place, Westminster Park and Chapel, Grenell Island Chapel, Densmore Chapel, St. Brendan’s in Rock-port, Grindstone United Methodist, the Half Moon Bay Vesper services among others.
As the Landmark Society, in conjunction with the Thousand Island Park Corporation, is spearheading an update to its National Register Status, there will be an architectural historian available to educate participants about the National Register and the survey process.
The update on register status will involve the resurveying of all cottages and the first-time surveying of the boathouses,using cell phones, tablets and digital photographs. The previous survey was prepared with handwritten notations and film photography.
Society members say the new survey tools will allow the detailed information collected by both professionals and volunteers to be made public online and will allow the community to catalog what has changed and what remains the same in the nearly 40 years since the initial survey. With this information, it’s hoped by the society that Thousand Island Park will have a renewed sense of its remarkable role in American history.
The tour itself will feature five cottages and two boathouses. It will also include various private gardens, the public gardens around the park and two lemonade spots for refreshment.
Three of the cottages on the tour are of the East-Lake Victorian/late 19th Century style with one of them being in a unique location sandwiched in a triangular formation between two streets.
Another is of the Craftsman/bungalow style which underwent renovations to return closer to its original design. Another one featured is an early tent platform cottage with its original rustic interior and native stone fireplace.
The two boathouses spotlighted in the tour are both examples of renovation — one an architect-designed structure erected to fit in with its early stick style main cottage and the other constructed with added dormers and beautifully finished bead board interior.
With the river water at such high levels this season, tour organizers are hopeful that the boathouses will be accessible by tour time so participants can view both the interiors and the antique boats inside the structures.
There will also be a raffle on the day of the tour and the historic Landmark Society building will be open for shopping and research if desired. An optional luncheon will be served at the Wellesley Hotel for an additional $20 and golf cart transportation will be available.
Tour tickets are $35 and $30 for Landmark Society members. They are available at thousandislandparklandmarksociety.org or at the Landmark office, 42831 St. Lawrence Ave.
For questions on the tour or the society, call it at 315-482-5150.