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Sandra Scott Travels: Sail Through History on the Region’s Waterways

Historic Boldt Castle

Historic Boldt Castle

Last week I asked: What places can you visit from the water between Montreal and Clayton?

The Seaway and more.

seaway locks
Seaway locks

Our Blount small cruise ship called Caribe Grande made several stops along the St. Lawrence River after leaving Montreal but first we went through the St. Lawrence Seaway locks.

Like a stealth ship, while everyone was sleeping, we departed Montreal and traversed the South Shore Canal’s two locks.

The St. Lawrence Seaway system is connected by five short canals that bypass the rapids.

They include 15 locks 766 feet in length that are filled and emptied by gravity.

During the day we locked through the rest of the Seaway’s locks.

Frederic Remington Art Museum.
Frederic Remington Art Museum.

The Snell Lock raised us 45 feet.

The process of locking through never loses its appeal.

Truly an engineering marvel.

We went through US customs in Ogdensburg, NY, after which there was a tour of the Frederic Remington Art Museum.

Remington is famed for his bronze sculptures of the Old West.

We had time to walk around the waterfront where there were signboards detailing Ogdensburg’s role in the Revolutionary War.

Singer Castle
Singer Castle

There are so many interesting personal stories.

It seems that the Sheriff Joseph York was left alone to man the cannon against hundreds of British soldiers at which point the British commander raised his hand to cease firing and said, “… there stands too brave a man to shoot.”

The western end of the St. Lawrence is home to the 1000 Islands and Millionaire’s Row.

Midday we docked on Dark Island for a taste of lifestyles of the rich and famous.

Clayton’s Antique Boat Museum,
Clayton’s Antique Boat Museum,

We had a guided tour of the five-story Singer Castle that the owners referred to as their “hunting lodge.”

The owner, Frederick Bourne, was president of the Singer Sewing Machine Company.

Singer Castle has 28 rooms and secret passageways.

The secret passages were used by the servants so they could spy on the diners to see when it was time to serve the next course and maybe for other less appropriate reasons.

It is possible to stay in the Royal Suite.

Welcome to Clayton
Welcome to Clayton

Our last stop on the St. Lawrence was at Clayton’s Antique Boat Museum, a boat-enthusiast’s dream come true with every kind of boat from Native American dugouts to private luxury yachts to Gold Cup Boats.

I liked the collapsible boats, the one made out of paper, and the one that was a cape that could be pumped up to be a boat!

From Clayton we set sail across Lake Ontario to Oswego at night when the pilot thought the water would be calmer.

It wasn’t.

I wished we had crossed during daylight.

I was looking forward to seeing the shore from the Grande Caribe.

Historic Boldt Castle
Historic Boldt Castle

I bought the book “Know Your Ships” which lists all the ships – salties and freshwater ones – that ply the Seaway.

When I saw a ship I would check it off in the book.

The book gave a lot of information on the vessels – country of registry, cargo and other information.

People of Québec…Then and Now features meetings with characters from the past and the discovery of collection objects from bygone eras.

Original films and archive montages bring the exhibition to life and immerse you in the heart of Québec’s history.

The social and economic history of the province is blended with the political history through several themes, such as the opening of the regions in the 19th century, the development of Québec urbanism, the multicultural face of Québec society and its often overlooked early modernity.

Trivia Tease™:  Who is called “Sister of the Outcasts?”

Look for the answer next week.

Sandra and her husband, John, have been exploring the world for decades, always on the lookout for something new and unique to experience. We have sailed down the Nile for a week on a felucca, stayed with the Pesch Indians in La Mosquitia, visited schools in a variety of countries, and — to add balance to our life — stayed at some of the most luxurious hotels in the world. Let the fun continue!

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