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1000 Islands Nostalgia

Clayton NY was a great place to take a tour of the 1000 Islands from


Back then I recall two tour boat lines: Uncle Sam Boat Tours and American Boat Line

Uncle Sam Boat Tours ran a fleet of beautiful single-deck wooden cruisers like the one at the top of the postcard stack. The “Uncle Sam” sat 100 folks, was diesel powered and was one of “twelve cruise boats” operating between May 1st and Nov 1st at the time of the postcard.

American Boat Lines ran a great looking wooden-hull double-decker (the “Adonis”), seen in the lower two shots…

American Boat Lines Tour Boats


I dug up this old home movie (8mm, quite fuzzy) of the Adonis leaving the docks on the west side of Clayton one morning to get ready for her morning run… great memories!


It’s interesting to see the American Adonis ran a dark hull for a short period of time, apprently when she was new (see caption):


(if you have any pictures (especially of Calumet Island in the 1960’s) or even the American Boat Lines Adonis, Venus, or Neptune, let me know; it would be nice to include some more photo’s on this site!)


In the early and mid 60’s the American Boat Line added two more double deckers, this time all aluminum.  Named the Venus and the Neptune, these boats plied the tour route on a  “3 hour, 50 minute cruise” well past the last time I saw them in 1970.  They were fun to ride and could throw quite a wake … lots of fun to ride through if you did it right!  They advertised “Queen of the 1000 Islands.  67 ft. long with a 19 ft. beam and 3 ft. 10 inch draft.  She will carry 223 passengers plus crew… Powered with twin diesel V-8 engines of 672 h.p.”

American Boat Line Brochure
The tour route (at least for Americans) started in Clayton and went around Grindstone to Gananoque Canada, then northeast, looping back under the 1000 Islands Bridge before returning.  The last few minutes of the tour took you by the old coal docks and the Golden Anchor Restaurant! tour route map


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