As told by W. Grant Mitchell

Grant Mitchell, my great uncle, was 12 years old when the Columbian Hotel, and a significant portion of Thousand Island Park burned on the ninth of July, 1912.  At the time, the water reservoir of the Park (remains of which can still be found at the top of Sunset Mountain), was partially drained for maintenance, resulting in diminished water pressures needed to fight the fire.  Pieces of burnt wood were carried by the wind and landed as far away as Rockport, Ontario.*

Later in his life, Grant Mitchell was instrumental in the building of the Thousand Islands Bridge, was its executive director for over 30  years, operated a hotel in Alexandria Bay, and became known as Mr. Thousand Islands because of his efforts at promoting the area.

He was recorded by my mother, Nellie Taylor, sometime in the 1970s.

The Columbian Hotel Fire

July 9, 1912

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The Thomas Mitchell Sr. Family, Circa 1950s

From L to R:  W. Grant Mitchell (Oldest Son), Nellie Grant Mitchell (Mother), Corinne Mitchell (Middle Child), Thomas Mitchell Sr (Father), Thomas Mitchell Jr. (Son).