9 April, 2015

Sheila Wright has posted a comment (at the end of the comments list) asking for information about her great-grandfather, John Lyons, Lockmaster. If anyone can help out, post away.


19 Responses to “Newboro Lake island names”

  1. Rush Cahall Says:

    I’ve studied this map a thousand times from my spot on the Fingerboard Island dining porch!

  2. Tom Stutzman Says:

    Newboro Lake map trivia: “Skulls Isle” was named after Dr. Skull, who built the cottages there in the 1940’s. Not long thereafter, it was later renamed “Sunny Isle” and was so known until about 2005. The boathouse now sports “Ucelet”, although the island has remained in the same family since the 1950’s. The unamed island on the map directly to the south is Channel Isle. The unamed island directly to the East (and between Skulls Isle [Ucelet] and Trillium Isle) is “Loon Lodge” (although that’s not really an “island” name (rather, a cottage name).

    To the south (and on the far left of the map) in Stouts Lower Bay, is a fat cigar-shaped island known to locals as “Battleship Isle”, so named for it’s profile resembling, guess what, a battleship. The high, shear rock escarpment on both long sides, and tall pines on it’s high plain, were no doubt the inspiration for it’s moniker.

  3. Tom Stutzman Says:

    Oops, correction. The map does show Channel Isles, but this is somewhat confusing, as the unnamed island to the Southwest of Skulls Isle is actually Channel Isle. What the map shows as Channel Isles are Crown Land, and were known to locals under another name that escapes my memory.

    • Ken Snyder Says:

      Any information on Cherry Island.Our fishing club has owned it since the early 60s. I have some old books that are stamped Bide-a-Wee Island. I was wondering if that could have been the original name. The owner was a College Professor by the name of Robert Meade.

      • Lisa Hulsebusch Says:

        My Grandfather is Charles Johnson. I believe he was one of the originals with this fishing club. Does his name ring a bell? I grew up visiting Cherry Island with him. Please reach out if this is correct.


  4. Rush Cahall Says:

    Regarding Tom’s reference to the Channel Islands. My mother used to call the smaller one ‘Garbage Island’. When I was young she used to dump her garbage (orange skins, peach skins that type of stuff) in the lake there! I guess it was done by others? Inconceivable nowadays.
    I’m still trying to figure out if Fingerboard has always been named that. The people who originally built on it called it “Two Pines” and it was imprinted on stationary by my relatives when they bought the place in that late 1930’s.

  5. Brian Says:

    Any history or information on Ebb Island? I have family friends who have been part owners of this island since the 1970s. It is referred to as “Shickshinny Island” by the current owners. It would be great to get some history on this island that I could share.

    • Rick Says:

      I can only say that my family went on holiday to Brothers Island in the early to late 1950’s, and the island just north of Brothers was called Shickshinny. If memory serves me, the owners were from Shickshinny, Pennsylvania.

      Now down near Hungry Bay are a small set of islands, one, no more than an outcropping of rocks, part of the Ramsey Islands. One especially has been known as Hageman Island as in the early 1960’s my father pulled out a 5 pound plus smallmouth, amongst other nice sized fish and we always used the name as our code. When people would ask us where we got these nice sized fish, we just said…Hageman Island. Today you’ll find the Hageman Island mascot perched there, a rare northern breed of pink Flamingo.

  6. Audrey Waterbury Romasco Says:

    I spent considerable time at the registry, in cemeteries and on genealogy sites last summer researching Lewis, Dargavel and Hopkins islands. In 1889 the Crown granted Dargavel island to Mary Dargavel (whose husband ran the store in Elgin) and Hopkins island to Helen Adelia Hopkins. Lewis island was granted to the estate of Levi Lewis (who ran the store in Newboro) in 1912. The fascinating thing is that Mary Dargavel was the sister of Helen Hopkins. Their sister, Harriet, married John Poole Tett (who built the house on By Street which is now The Manor of Stirling Lodge), whose sister Julianna married Levi Lewis. These three islands were essentially owned by one family.

    In 1919 my grandfather, Clarence Waterbury bought Lewis island which has been in the family ever since. In 1961 my father, Warren, bought Hopkins Island and in 1963 his sister, Jean, bought Dargavel, leaving their youngest brother, Jim, on Lewis. Once again the three islands are owned by one family.

    In fact, except for 18 years (7 on Lewis where I can find no family connection to Hattie Lyons and 11 years on Hopkins) these three islands have always been in one of these two families.

    If anyone knows of a connection for Hattie Lyons, I would love to hear it.

    Audrey Waterbury Romasco

    • Dave Waterbury Says:

      Excellent entry, Audrey. It’s good to have this documented after our all having wondered the connections for so long.

      David Waterbury (Lewis Island)

    • Just wanted to make some corrections to the above. Helen Adelia HOPKINS (born ROSE) 1859-1934 was a sister-in-law to Mary Jane DARGAVEL 1846-1918 not a sister. Her husband was Edwin James HOPKINS 1858-1896 who was a bother of Harriet Ida TETT 1852-1923 and the above Mary Jane DARGAVEL (wife of John Robertson DARGAVEL 1846-1930).
      Harriet Ida, Mary Jane, and Edwin James in fact did have a sister named Helen (however,her middle name was Sophia) 1854-1886. She married James M. McGUIGGAN 1853-1900 in Newboro in April 1882. They moved to Minnesota shortly after their marriage and she died in Minnesota in 1886.


      Bruce A. VARCOE
      (formerly of Toronto, Ontario)
      Descendant of John Poole TETT 1839-1928 and wife Harriet Ida HOPKINS 1852-1923

      PS Helen Adelia HOPKINS (born ROSE) 1859-1934 married secondly in 1903 Frank W. ADAMS 1853-1934 and they are both buried at
      Brookside Cemetery in Watertown, NY (see http://www.findagrave.com)

      • Audrey Waterbury Romasco Says:

        You are absolutely correct, Bruce. When I reviewed the family tree I had created for the three islands, I saw my mistake.

        It still makes the narrative of the three islands being held mostly by two families pretty impressive.

        One would also sentimentally like to believe that sister-in-laws could be as close as genetic siblings (sometimes closer!)

        Thanks for picking up the error.


      • Robert Limburg Says:

        I am trying to tie in Lyons Island (southeast of Lewis)
        Wm G Dargavel bro/law of Mary Hopkins Dargavel was lockmaster @ Newboro. My ancestor John H Lyons(1876-1949) was the next Lockmaster. Family lore claimed Lyons island (a painting hung in cottage @ the Locks).
        Any info about Hattie Lyons? Formal name Harriet,Hester?
        Information about island ownership is from Land Registry?
        What are the island #’s?
        Bob Limburg
        New York, USA

      • Audrey Waterbury Romasco Says:

        Robert Limburg:

        Referring to the map posted at the top of this page, I believe Lyons island is a very tiny island, mostly a resting stop for birds. I noticed this weekend that the sole tree had been uprooted and blow over. However, the island marked on the map as Lyons would be Northeast of Lewis, Hopkins and Dargavel, so perhaps this is not the same island. Lots of these islands have multiple names depending on the map or deed. Hopkins is named thus on most maps, but the deed reads Cove Island.

        I think Hattie Lyons is synonomous with Hester A. Lyons, nee Bell, married to George Lyons. Her gravestone in Newboro lists her dates as 1847-1945. If you would like a picture of her gravestone, indicate your email and I will send it to you.

        Yes, information about the islands is from the land registry located in Brockville. It is not on-line and no longer staffed, but the microfilm is available for public research.

        Hope this helps. Audrey

  7. Joe D. Says:

    Who owns Channel Islands/Twin Islands?

  8. Robert Limburg Says:

    Hester Lyons is my GG_GM wife of George mother of John H Lyons the Lockmaster. Yes, you reference the correct island.
    Does Hattie Lyons figure in to some deeds?
    I believe that Levi Lewis’ store was at corner of Drummond and Simcoe in Newboro. John H Lyons owned a house there 1900-late 1950’s.

    • Audrey Waterbury Romasco Says:

      Hattie A. Lyons bought Lewis Island from the estate of Levi Lewis on Sept. 14, 1912 (for $250) and sold it to my grandfather, Clarence M. Waterbury on Sept. 23, 1919 (for $250).

      I am intrigued that these islands all ended up as property of women. First, I postulated that they were some form of pension from the Crown for their husbands’ service, but this doesn’t appear to bear out. My second guess is that it may have something to do with the Newboro Women’s Institute, but I’m not sure about identifying these women in the photos since they are mostly identified as “Mrs. So-and-so” and multiple women will have the same last name.

      This summer I will go back to the registry to research more islands and see if I can find a pattern.

      If anyone knows the tale from family lore, please share!

  9. Doug Welch Says:

    Is this a map of the “old lake”? I have heard that at some point Newboro Lake was raised a few feet. Does anyone know if this is the case, and if so, when it occurred? What is on the map as Browns Island and shown as two islands is actually four islands and have been for a good long time. The upper part of the island closest to Lyons island is Breezy Point, and the lower part is a separate island belonging to Doris and Don Scobie that was known for many years as Becksteads. The name Breezy Point is supposed to be a double entendre on an early owner named Bresee. My parents bought it from Dr. Garrison of Syracuse in 1954. Mr. Garrison had owned it since 1921.

    The southwesterly island in the Brown Island group is also two islands. The upper part of the island has been in Coulter family for many years. The other island in the group was known to us as Wrights Island. It was used by the McClouds in the 1960’s.

  10. Sheila Wright Says:

    John H. Lyons (lockmaster) was my great grandfather. I would appreciate any info on family history etc… I am hoping to visit Newboro this summer. Thank you! ~Sheila Wright

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