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Original River Houseboat, Balboa


The Clark family of Comfort Island in 1893 acquired the first houseboat on the river, the Comfort (later Balboa). As Paul Malo has related in Fools' Paradise, houseboats became the rage of the 1890s. Size increased quickly, growing within a decade from the Clarks' tiny Comfort to the Boldts' gigantic La Duchesse (1904), which vied with the Maxwells' Pamela as largest on the river. 

Two newly-wed couples pictured above on a 1904 trip up the Rideau Canal are, from left to right, Mancel Tallcott Clark, Sr.("Walter"), Elizabeth Hamlin Clark, Jane Challen and Paul Jewill Challen.

Renamed Balboa, in the mid-1940s the old houseboat was pulled up on land at Westminster Park, on Wellesly Island. The owners added a new upper cabin that replaced the open deck. The enlarged craft, still small (about 10 x 40 feet) served as a summer cottage for generations of the Miner family. Current owners are Emily and Bob Miner of Wooster, Ohio.

The Clark family of Comfort Island in 1893 acquired the first houseboat on the river, the Comfort (later Balboa). As Paul Malo has related in Fools' Paradise, houseboats became the rage of the 1890s. Size increased quickly, growing within a decade from the Clarks' tiny Comfort to the Boldts' gigantic La Duchesse (1904), which vied with the Maxwells' Pamela as largest on the river.

Two newly-wed couples pictured above on a 1904 trip up the Rideau Canal are, from left to right, Mancel Tallcott Clark, Sr.("Walter"), Elizabeth Hamlin Clark, Jane Challen and Paul Jewill Challen.

Renamed Balboa, in the mid-1940s the old houseboat was pulled up on land at Westminster Park, on Wellesly Island. The owners added a new upper cabin that replaced the open deck. The enlarged craft, still small (about 10 x 40 feet) served as a summer cottage for generations of the Miner family. Current owners are Emily and Bob Miner of Wooster, Ohio.

By Paul Malo

Posted in: Places, Sports
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