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Statistics on the St. Lawrence


Steven D. Glazer found the attached article from the front page of the October 24, 1890, issue of The St. Lawrence Herald. It was titled "Statistics on the St. Lawrence," and it was based on a submission by "H. S. Chandler."

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Henry Sweeting Chandler [1840-1906] was a prominent New York City businessman originally from Mexico, New York. In the last few decades of the nineteenth century, Chandler was the owner of Florence Island, located near Alexandria Bay. (His wife was named Florence.) Chandler was a founding member of the Thousand Islands Club, serving as a governor in its first year. He was also an officer of the St. Lawrence River Anglers' Association.

As one can see by the statistics provided by Chandler, the Thousand Islands region was enjoying explosive growth in commerce and employment, as well as in tourism, during the Gilded Age. 

“There were in 1889 about 600 persons employed as oarsmen on the river; in 1888 there were perhaps 100.  In 1889 there were about 250 employed in connection with steam and other boats; in 1888 there may have been thirty. There were last summer thirty-six hotels capable of accommodating 4,000 people.  Six years ago the hotels could accommodate scarcely 1,000 people.  Besides there are now thirty boarding houses with a capacity of 560 guests; there are now between 600 and 700 cottages used exclusively by summer residents.  From $1,000,000 to $3,260,00 were spent on the river last summer by tourists, exclusive of railroad fares. A large and increasing business has also grown up in building steam yachts and the celebrated St. Lawrence skiffs.”

By Steven D. Glazer

Steven Glazer retired from litigating patent-infringement cases at a Manhattan law firm.  He now spends much of his time researching and writing about the Civil War, especially as it relates to the history of Cranford, New Jersey, where he and his wife have lived for many years. Henry Chandler lived in Cranford in his later years, and died at his home there on Christmas morning in 1906. Steve also has been researching Thousand Islands pioneer Henry Heath for some years and provided TI Life with two articles about Heath back in April 2010 and March  2011. 

Henry R. Heath: Union Soldier, Thousand Islands Pioneer

Henry R. Heath: Union Soldier, Thousand Islands Pioneer (Part II)

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