Sunday, September 19, 2021

The Historic Wolfe Island, Canada

The history of Wolfe Island, the largest of all the 1,864 islands in the Thousand Islands, dates back to the early 1600s. Wolfe Island forms a natural boundary between Canadian and United States where the St. Lawrence River meets Lake Ontario. The island is only one-to-seven miles wide but it’s twenty miles long, and today, much of it is a huge wind farm.

Samuel de Champlain is believed to be the first white man to explore the island in 1615 when stopped by after fighting the Iroquois Indians. In 1675, King Louis IV of France officially claimed the area, giving a man named La Salle the area for hunting and fishing. La Salle, in turn, was to maintain a garrison, build a church, pay a tidy sum of money, and “domesticate” the Indians. Yet there is no evidence that he did any of it.

Jacque Cauchois took over the garrison called Fort Frontenac in 1685 and after his death, his heirs managed the area, where settlers called Marysville their home close to the fort. The land remained in the Cauchois family for over 100 years, until it was sold in the early 1800s to David Alexander Grant and Patrick Langan for one shilling an acre.

During the Revolutionary War, 1776-1783, British soldiers oversaw the island and British loyalists sought refuge on the island, working the land and some settling there.

In 1792, the island was named Wolfe Island after British General Wolfe. With only one town, Marysville, its year-round population of less than two thousand reaches either the Canadian and American mainland by ferry—or walking over the ice.

During the War of 1812, Scottish settlers came, battles were fought around the island, and the population increased. In 1823, the settlement the Ardath Chateau became the centerpiece for the settlement, known locally as the “The Old Castle”. It had 25 rooms, a dungeon, a carriage house and servants' quarters. It was razed in 1929. Besides the castle, there were only fifteen families on the island.

By 1861, the population grew to thirty-six hundred, many of the families Irish immigrants seeking a better life from the Potato Famine years. One of those families was mine. In The Fabric of Hope: An Irish Family Legacy, you’ll learn so much more about this fascinating island, history, and culture.

About The Fabric of Hope: An Irish Family Legacy

After struggling to accept the changes forced upon her, Margaret Hawkins and her family take a perilous journey on an 1851 immigrant ship to the New World, bringing with her an Irish family quilt she is making.

A hundred and sixty years later, her great granddaughter, Maggie, searches for the family quilt after her ex pawns it. But on their way to creating a family legacy, will these women find peace with the past and embrace hope for the future, or will they be imprisoned by fear and faithlessness?

About Susan:

Susan G Mathis is an international award-winning, multi-published author of stories set in the beautiful Thousand Islands, her childhood stomping ground in upstate NY. Susan has been published more than twenty times in full-length novels, novellas, and non-fiction books.

Her first two books of The Thousand Islands Gilded Age series, Devyn’s Dilemma, and Katelyn’s Choice have each won multiple awards, and book three, Peyton’s Promise, comes out May 2022 with Rachel’s Reunion in October. The Fabric of Hope: An Irish Family Legacy, Christmas Charity, and Sara’s Surprise, and Reagan’s Reward, are also award winners. Susan’s book awards include two Illumination Book Awards, the American Fiction Award, the Indie Excellence Book Award, and two Literary Titan Book Award. Reagan’s Reward is a finalist in the Selah Awards.

Susan is also a published author of two premarital books, two children's picture books, stories in a dozen compilations, and hundreds of published articles. Susan makes her home in Colorado Springs and enjoys traveling around the world. Visit for more.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting. Your book is on my TBR pile, and I am looking forward to reading it. It would be fun to see this place.