Leaving Vermont was bitter sweet in that we enjoyed ourselves very much and we understand that we have to come back to spend much more time. But, we were able to "officially" put three states, Maine, New Hampshire & Vermont on our map. These last two stops only facilitated our being able to come to THIS stop in the 1000 Islands of the St. Lawrence Seaway. The drive was beautiful, 268 miles including, up the islands on Lake Champlain then in a westerly direction on highway 11 to Alexandria Bay, NY.
Our RV site at the 1000 Islands Campground, a Passport America member, is a quaint campground. There are many whimsical yard pieces decorating the open areas. We found out that it is in the town of Clayton that the "1000 Island" salad dressing was created way back in the early 1900's. It is still made the original way by one of the local cheese shops.
Our first day touring was a boat cruise (Clayton Island Cruise Tours) of the American and Canadian islands in this part of the St. Lawrence Seaway. Half way through the tour we were put ashore to see the "Boldt Castle". George Boldt of Astoria Hotel fame, had this huge place built for his wife, however, 2 months before it's completion and his presenting it to her she died! No thought to money and expenses were considered when it was being built by the 300+ laborers, taking 5 yrs and then to have that happen. Mr. Boldt never went back to the island castle leaving it to his inheritors but instead it sat unattended for 75 years. The sun, wind, snow, storms and vandals had their way with the wonderful place. Now, a showplace being lovingly restored and upgraded. We enjoyed our tour. Our cruise narrator, Ethan was terrific, funny, with many fun facts and historical limericks.
Now, to mention the main reason for our stop in this little corner of heaven. Rebecca has a few relative back 4 generations or so who hail from this area but, on the Canada side of the river. They were farmers from the Plum Hollow area of Ontario and we need to find a few gravestones and maybe a farm or two but certainly get some answers to long unanswered questions! The last names were Day, Haskin(s) and Kilborn of these long ago English settlers. In the meantime, we've found Plum Hollow on the map also Daytown road, Day road and learned of a "Kilborns store". A search at the Land office in Brockville gave us no information of farms or locations of old. So, we got in the pickup to locate the easiest of the cemeteries in which, we found Rebecca's grandmother 5th generation towering headstone. Oh, what joy! And nearby a few others. Next, we had to locate THE main grave we both had on our minds, that of the mother who died while delivering twins, leaving a husband and four children. Finally, after 2 full days of searching 12 cemeteries, we located her unmarked grave in a family cemetery. We know she and the babies are there from burial documentation but over the years, since 1882 things have happened to markers.
To facilitate the finding and locating of the original burial spot came from a chance meeting of the wonderful couple who own and manage the beautiful Denaut Mansion Country Inn of Delta, Ontario. If in this part of Ontario, stay here. For more info go to: www.denautmansion.com This wonderful couple checked the listing of the private cemetery on the premises of the Inn, then called Mr. Peterson, the local cemetery "expert." Mr. Peterson related to Rebecca that he had seen the name we were looking for, just recently. He research it and called back. While we waited for the call back, Inn owners, Mariska & Theo served up coffee and breads for us. We got to know them and we told them our story. Soon the call came back from Mr. Peterson and we were off again to a new cemetery and found the mother and children! It was early evening by this time, our drive home this day was cheerful and joyous having found Rebecca's roots...
Dear Ancestor, Your tombstone stands among the rest, Neglected and alone.
The names and the dates are chiseled out on polished marble stone.
It reaches out to all that care, it is too late to mourn.
You did not know that I exist, You died and I was born.
Yet, each of us are cells of you, In flesh, in blood, in bone.
Our blood contracts and beats a pulse, not entirely on our own.
Dear Ancestor, the place you filled one hundred years ago,
spreads out among the ones you left, who would have loved you so.
I wonder if you lived and loved, I wonder if you knew,
that someday I would find this spot,
and come visit you. Author Unknown