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Digital Subscriptions > Cottage Life > Aug/Sept 2019 > One hundred years in the making

One hundred years in the making

At this Thousand Islands cottage, a funny-looking chair is more than just a place to take a seat
The “island rock chairs” are “utilitarian, easy to build, and easy to reuse,” says Woodie Stevens (on previous page with his wife, Lini). To make the first one (plans on p.73), Grandpa Junius bought a hand saw, a brace and bit (for boring holes), and a slotted screwdriver. “All tools we still have,” says Woodie.

From the time he was three years old, Woodie Stevens has spent every summer of his life at his family cottage in the Thousand Islands, a 10-minute boat ride from Gananoque, Ont. But it wasn’t until his 20th summer at the cottage, when he thought he had the Thousand Islands all figured out, that the islands and the river reached out and spoke to him and changed the course of his life.

Woodie, born Ford Woods Stevens, is today a 77-year-old American, a career dentist in the Philadelphia area, a gentle soul who can spin a good yarn. His cottage, which has been in the family for more than a century, sits atop the highest point on Wyoming Island, some 60 feet above the St. Lawrence River. It features an impressively level stone patio just outside the door, a perfect plateau of Canadian Shield granite courtesy of Mother Nature. The patio faces downriver to the east, but also offers a clear view south towards Grindstone Island, just across the invisible line in the water that marks the Canada-U.S. border.

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About Cottage Life

Dive into this special vintage edition of Cottage Life for a look at the cottage then and now. In this issue we’ll show you the highs, lows, wins, losses, and questionable cottage fashion of days gone by. Want to know what your cottage junk is worth? We explored dusty cupboards and sheds to find out. You’ll meet cottagers who have been going to (and DIYing in) the Thousand Islands for 100 years. We’ll share tips for buying, hauling, storing, and using propane, the super-useful fuel that does more than barbecue your dinner. Do you know a disaffected cottage teen? Or were you one? Take a peek into the mind of a teenager who had to leave the cottage to find it again. We found a cooler that can keep ice frozen for three weeks (but it’s not cheap). You’ll find answers to reader questions about ticks, asbestos shingles, and pressure-treated lumber, and we’ll deliver the fine print on using fireworks at the lake, plans for building a classic wooden marble game, and an easy way to scribe deck boards. Plus, don’t miss fun and delicious updates to your favourite summertime meals, from burgers to s’mores. Get the Aug/Sept 2019 issue of Cottage Life today for a taste of summer at its best!