20th Century, Culture, Surrounding Areas

Two Early Films of Kingston and Area

I was really excited to find two brief, relatively early, locally-shot films while on Youtube the other night. Films of the Kingston area are few and far between, especially from, say, the pre-1950 era, and most that survive are in archives or perhaps in private collections. So it was great to run across these two just sitting there on the internet! I am also happy to say I can tell you a little bit about the background of both of them.

Let’s start with the earlier one: a 1919 travel film about the Thousand Islands, made by the Ford Motor Company. It belongs to the Thousand Islands Museum in Clayton, New York, and was apparently not uploaded by them, although the uploader says it was “provided” by them. The film basically just has the camera on a boat and travels around the islands with a few title-cards interspersed. Therefore, it’s not much you haven’t seen before, just the Thousand Islands in black-and-white. However I still find it interesting to watch, and the Bach soundtrack someone has added makes the whole thing kind of hypnotic and meditative…

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20th Century, Buildings, Businesses

The Failed Chateau Rideau

This never happened.

This never happened.

As I was searching for a new topic to write about, I came across a short article written by Brian S. Osborne on the Kingston Historical Society website. Entitled “Kingston’s Chateau Rideau,” it briefly goes over the short life and death of the hotel pictured above. Yes, only pictured. It was never built.

It reminded me that a few months ago I had found, on Archive.org, the original booklet advertising the potential for such a hotel in Kingston, so that’s what I’ll be sharing with you today! (Research on the internet is shamefully easy…)

You might think that this hotel looks rather large and unwieldy for Kingston, which is probably true. But in the early twentieth century, when the Chateau Rideau was proposed, tourism in the Thousand Islands by prominent Canadians and Americans, as well as by simple pleasure-seekers, was quite high. For Kingston, an “if you build it they will come” approach may have seemed like a good way to capitalize on the traffic coming through the area.

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