Thursday, January 19, 2023

The New Frontenac Hotel

During the Thousand Islands Gilded Age, dozens of resorts popped up to serve the wealthy clientele from New York City, Chicago, Philadelphia, and more. The New Frontenac Hotel was just one, but it became a world-famous resort for over a decade. 

Daniel and Jane Porter of Clayton purchased Round Island in 1878 for $9,000. They built the Round Island Hotel, but it wasn’t too successful. They leased it, renovated it, added wings that included a bowling and billiards wing, and renamed it the Hotel Frontenac.

Calumet Island’s Charles G Emery had a big plan when the Round Island Company assumed control of it in 1898. He contracted a huge remodel with the intent of making the New Frontenac a world class hotel, and the best hotel in the Thousand Islands. He added a brick kitchen and firewall to prevent a kitchen fire to spread, a new wing with a ball room and dining room, and a separate building, called The Annex.

The New Frontenac Hotel became a luxury resort hotel where the rich and famous, including William Howard Taft, Secretary of War in Teddy Roosevelt’s Administration and later President Taft. So did the Maharaja and Maharani of Baroda who was said to have more money than Rockefeller. Mr. and Mrs. Oliver and Alva Belmont, of Belmont Stakes fame, spent a month there. So did Prince and Princess Engalitcheff, a Russian prince who came to America penniless with his mother.

The Frontenac had an orchestra that gave regular dances, hops, and balls. Other entertainment included fishing, boating, bowling, archery, golf, and tennis, just to name a few. There were special events weekly, and its wealthy patrons touted its wonders for years.

The New Frontenac hotel was said to have the best fire protection. On the top story of the building, there were great iron tanks holding 23,000 gallons of water. Throughout the buildings were firehoses as well as many hand fire extinguishers. Unfortunately, the Frontenac Hotel burned to the ground in 1911.

About Rachel’s Reunion:

Summer 1904

Rachel Kelly serves the most elite patrons at the famed New Frontenac Hotel on Round Island. She has wondered about her old beau, Mitch, for nearly two years, ever since he toyed with her affections while on Calumet Island, then left for the high seas and taken her heart with him. Now he’s back, opening the wound she thought was healed.

Mitch O’Keefe returns to claim his bride but finds it more difficult than he thought. Returning to work at the very place he hated, he becomes captain of a New Frontenac Hotel touring yacht, just to be near Rachel. But his attempts to win her back are thwarted, especially when a wealthy patron seeks her attention. Who will Rachel choose?

About Susan:

Susan G Mathis is an international award-winning, multi-published author of stories set in the beautiful Thousand Islands in upstate NY. Susan has been published more than twenty-five times in full-length novels, novellas, and non-fiction books. She has nine in her fiction line including Peyton’s Promise. Find out more at

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for posting, and Happy New Year! This area certainly has/had its' share of luxury resort hotels! It would be great to see some of the architecture.